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3  3433  082389 

3  5 


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THE  NE77  YOKX     ! 



Portrait  of  A.  B.  Simpson  at  Age  of  Sixty-five. 



Official  Authorised  Edition 

A.  E.  THOMPSON,  M.  A. 

With  Special  Chapters  by 

Paul  Rader 
James  M.  Gray,  D.  D.  Kenneth  Mackenzie 

J.  Gregory  Mantle,  D.  D.    F.  H.  Senft,  B.  A. 
R.  H.  Glover,  M.  D.  W.  M.  Turnbull,  D.  D, 


The  Christian  Alliance  Publishing  Company, 
318  West  39TH  St.,  New  York. 

TO  I!EV/  YC 


Copyright,  1920,  by 
Christian  Alliance  Publishing  Co. 


SOME  over  bold  word  artist  may  yet  attempt  to  depict 
the  life  of  A.  B.  Simpson  on  the  terms  laid  down 
by  Oliver  Cromwell  when  sitting  for  young  Lally — 
"Paint  me  as  I  am.  If  you  leave  out  a  scar  or  wrinkle, 
I  will  not  pay  you  a  shilling."  But  what  canvas  could  re- 
ceive the  face  of  Cromwell  and  what  page  can  reveal 
the  life  of  A.  B.  Simpson? 

Photography  is  more  accurate  than  painting,  for  God's 
sunlight  truly  reflects  the  image  on  the  negative ;  but  what 
mind  is  sensitive  enough  to  receive  the  impression  of  a 
life  so  unique,  and  great  enough  to  reveal  it  without 
retouching  it  into  its  own  ideal? 

Someone  has  said  that  we  should  take  the  Bible  as  our 
model,  forgetting  what  Graham  Scroggie  remarked  with 
Scotch  sententiousness,  "God  wrote  those  biographies." 
And  if  God  should  write  a  third  Testament  for  the  mil- 
lennial age,  and  should  choose  Albert  B.  Simpson  as  one 
of  its  characters,  who  would  dare  to  predict  what  incident 
or  excellency  or  flaw  the  Holy  Spirit  might  select  for  His 

Miniatures  not  a  few,  mental  photographs  brought  to 
the  light  of  day  from  the  treasures  of  memory,  portraits 
done  by  hands  love  inspired,  pen  sketches  revealing  feat- 
ures and  attitudes,  and  delineations  of  some  of  the  great 
life  lines  have  all  been  brought  together  in  an  attempt  to 
create  a  composite  picture  of  a  great  and  beautiful  life. 
Caricatures  there  are  none,  though  these  would  fill  vol- 
umes if  collected,  the  fact  that  he  provoked  so  many  and 
such  extravagantly  distorted  depictions  being  but  another 


proof  of  (lie  extraordinary  quality  of  his  life,  for  only 
real  greatness  lends  itself  to  burlesque. 

There  has  been  no  lack  of  material.  Mrs.  Simpson, 
with  characteristic  foresight,  preserved  in  huge  scrap- 
books  much  of  the  newspaper  comment  and  many  an- 
nouncements, programs,  and  records  of  outstanding 
events.  His  sister.  Miss  Louisa  Simpson,  and  old  Ca- 
nadian friends  have  kindly  recalled  for  us  their  inti- 
mate knowledge  of  his  early  life.  Fortunately  he  had 
begun  an  autobiography  which  he  carried  forward  as  far 
as  his  college  days.  A  wide  circle  of  friends  have  sent 
incidents  and  personal  impressions.  A  few  souvenirs 
and  the  official  annual  reports  have  been  trustworthy 
guides.  His  scores  of  books  and  nearly  fifty  volumes 
of  his  periodicals  have  been  mines  of  information.  It 
has  thus  been  possible  to  recover  many  of  the  revelations 
concerning  himself  which  Dr.  Simpson  made  on  rare 
occasions,  and  so  to  give  a  more  personal  touch  to  the 
story.  The  photograph,  of  which  the  frontispiece  is  a 
copy,  has  been  hanging  before  us  as  we  wrote,  constantly 
reminding  us  of  the  modesty  that  forbade  him  to  pro- 
claim himself,  but  on  every  page  the  attempt  has  been 
made  to  break  through  that  fine  reserve  and  compel  him 
to  disclose  the  secret  of  his  life. 

To  those  who  have  supplied  data  we  here  offer  the 
readers'  thanks  with  our  own.  Miss  Emma  F.  Beere, 
who  for  many  years  was  Dr.  Simpson's  secretary,  has 
assisted  in  the  collection  of  materials,  giving  valuable 
reading  of  the  proofs.  Mrs.  C.  Myron  Peck  also  gave 
valuable  assistance.  The  special  contributors  have  each 
put  us  under  obligation  by  their  sketches  of  features 
and  phases  of  this  wonderful  life.  Mrs.  Simpson  and 
the  Editorial  Committee  of  the  Christian  and  Missionary 


Alliance,  including  Revs.  F.  H.  Senft,  W.  M.  Turnbull, 
A,  C.  Snead,  and  the  Editor,  have  done  their  part  to  make 
the  work  an  official  biography. 

If  in  any  true  sense  this  sketch  is  "A  Life  of  A.  B. 
Simpson,"  our  aim  has  been  attained.  No  word  but  life 
is  adequate,  for  he  lived  intensely,  unselfishly,  nobly, 
godly  in  this  present  age,  holding  forth  the  Word  of 
Life  that  he  might  not  run  in  vain  neither  labor  in  vain. 

Nyack-on-Hudson,  N.  Y.  A.  E.  T. 


Mounting  up  with  wings  as  eagles, 

Waiting  on  the  Lord  we  rise; 
Strength  receiving,  life  renewing. 

How  our  spirit  heavenward  flies! 
Then  our  springing  feet  returning 

To  the  pathway  of  the  saint, 
We  shall  run  and  not  be  weary. 

We  shall  walk  and  never  faint. 

Oh,  we  need  these  heights  of  rapture 

Where  we  mount  on  eagle's  wings; 
Then  returning  to  life's  duties. 

All  our  heart  exultant  springs. 
This  our  every  burden  lightens 

Till,  with  sweet,  divine  constraint, 
We  can  run  and  not  be  weary. 

We  can  walk  and  never  faint. 

— A.  B.  Simpson. 



A.  Household  of  Faith   i 

Personal  Reminiscences 7 

The  High  Calling  24 

College  Days    31 


The  First  Pastorate  41 

Pastoral  Evangelism 53 

The  Life  Crisis  63 

Divine  Life  for  the  Body 72 

In  the  Great  Metropolis  82 


Manifold  Ministries   92 


Conventions  and  Tours  104 

The  Missionary  Vision 118 


The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance  128 

The  Ministry  of  Healing  138 



Author  and  Editor   150 


A  Man  of  Action 160 


A  Pauline  Mystic  171 


A  Man  of  Prayer 184 

A  Modern  Prophet  194 


Leader  and  Friend   204 


A  Christian  Educator^  by  W.  M.  Turnbull 214 


The  Missionary  Outcome,  by  R.  H.  Glover 224 


Some  Characteristics  of  the  Message,  by  J.  Gregory  Mantle  236 


Dr.  Simpson  and  Modern  Movements,  by  Kenneth  Mackenzie  246 


The  Saneness  of  A.  B.  Simpson.,  by  James  M.  Gray 258 


The  Man  as  I  Knew  Him,  by  Frederic  H.  Senft 268 

In  Memoriam  276 

A  Great  Legacy,  by  Paul  Rader ,,,..,,.,.,...  291 


Portrait  of  A.  B.  Simpson  at  Age  of  Sixty-five.  .Frontispiece 



A.  B.  Simpson  at  Seventeen  15 

A.  B.  Simpson  in  College  Years 2)2 

A.  B.  Simpson  During  Hamilton  Pastorate  50 

A.  B.  Simpson  at  the  Crisis 71 

Mrs.  a.  B.  Simpson 141 

A.  B.  Simpson  During  Last  Visit  to  England 277 

At  Old  Orchard  Convention,  1916 log 

At  Old  Orchard  Convention,  1918 no 

Mr.  and  Mrs.  Simpson 281 



ALBERT  B.  SIMPSON  came  of  generations  of 
sturdy  and  upright  stock  and  was  reared  in  sur- 
roundings congenial  to  the  development  of  noble  and 
godly  character.  The  "Bonnie  Highlands"  of  Scotland 
is  the  home  of  a  race  as  rugged  as  its  rocky  hills,  yet  as 
sensitive  as  its  matchless  lakes  to  the  moods  of  wind 
and  weather.  Neither  Roman  legions  nor  Saxon  knights 
ever  subdued  those  haughty,  crafty  clansmen,  and  on 
every  battlefield  of  modern  nations  the  tartan  and  bonnet 
of  "The  Kilties,"  marching  to  the  weird  skirl  of  the 
pibroch,  have  been  in  the  hottest  of  the  fray.  As  widely 
scattered,  as  easily  recognized,  and  as  successful  as  the 
sons  of  Jacob,  some  one  has  sung  of  them, 

"They  thrive  where'er  they  fall. 
Oh,  grasp  the  hardy  thistle  close, 
Or  grasp   it  not   at  all." 

Nor  need  young  Canada,  his  own  much  loved  native 
land,  be  abashed  even  in  the  presence  of  the  Highlands. 
As  Dr.  Simpson  himself  said  in  a  lecture,  delivered  both 
in  his  native  island  and  in  the  church  where  fifty  years 
before  he  had  been  ordained,  "Every  Canadian  seems  by 
^^his  very  attitude  to  be  forever  saying,  T  can.'  His  life 
story  will  reveal  many  influences,  all  instrumental  in  the 
making  of  a  life  of  rare  completeness.  But  it  would  be 
a  very  faulty  interpretation  that  overlooked  the  effects 
of  his  ancestry  and  early  environment.  For  the  seeds 
of  character  are  the  fruit  of  a  family  tree,  and  the  home 


and  the  community  are  as  soil  and  sunlight  to  the  young 

The  Simpson  family  emigrated  from  Morayshire,  Scot- 
land, and  settled  in  Prince  Edward  Island  in  1774.  James 
Simpson,  the  grandfather  of  Albert  B.  Simpson,  was  then 
a  boy  of  five  years.  In  after  years  he  married  a  daughter 
of  the  island  and  reared  a  family  of  seven  boys  and  four 
girls.  The  fourth  boy,  James,  married  Jane,  the  daughter 
of  William  Clark,  who  with  his  wife  was  also  of  Scottish 
ancestry,  being  descended  from  the  "Covenanters."  He 
was  a  member  of  the  Legislature,  and  on  his  death,  his 
son  William,  then  only  twenty-one  years  of  age,  was 
elected  to  his  seat,  which  he  carried  in  every  election  till 
he  was  eighty  years  old.  The  family  is  still  widely  known 
and  greatly  respected. 

Jane  Clark's  maternal  grandmother,  Mrs.  McEwan,  a 
very  godly  woman,  told  her  tales  of  the  persecutions  her 
people  had  suflFered  at  the  hands  of  Claverhouse  and  his 
dragoons;  of  their  faithfulness  to  the  truth  amid  the 
fiercest  persecution;  of  Peden,  the  prophet,  and  other 
great  preachers ;  of  the  secret  conventicles  among  the 
hills  where  these  godly  folk  worshipped  at  the  risk  of 
their  lives ;  of  miracles  of  deliverance,  and  of  the  final 
triumph  of  the  reformers  in  Scotland.  No  more  thrilling 
chapter  has  been  written  in  Church  History,  and  the 
heart  of  this  highminded  girl  was  stirred  to  a  passion 
of  devotion  to  the  faith  of  her  fathers  and  the  God  whom 
they  worshipped. 

Nor  was  James  Simpson  less  earnest  in  his  consecra- 
tion to  Christ  than  the  young  lady  whom  he  sought  as  his 
helpmeet.  Carefully  instructed  in  the  great  truths  for 
which  his  forefathers  had  bled,  and  converted  at  the  age 
of  nineteen,  he  became  an  earnest  student  of  the  Bible, 


Though  away  from  home  during  the  years  of  his  early 
manhood  and  cast  among  godless  companions  who  scoffed 
at  his  religion,  he  continued  true  to  his  convictions  and 
steadfast  in  his  Christian  life.  He  stood  at  the  marriage 
altar  a  clean,  capable,  industrious,  and  prosperous  young 
man,  worthy  of  the  remarkable  woman  whose  heart  he 
had  won. 

The  iron  crane  was  hung  in  the  home  of  James  and 
Jane  Simpson  in  Bayview,  Prince  Edward  Island,  on 
February  ist,  1837.  Here  five  of  their  nine  children 
were  given  to  them.  Albert  Benjamin,  the  fourth  child, 
was  born  on  December  15th,  1843.  The  firstborn,  James 
Albert,  was  taken  away  when  only  two  and  a  half  years 
old.  William  Howard  and  Louisa  were  older  than  Albert, 
and  Margaret  Jane  two  years  younger.  It  was  a  happy 
home,  and  sunny  skies  smiled  upon  it. 

James  Simpson  had  established  himself  as  a  shipbuilder, 
miller,  merchant,  and  exporter.  He  carried  on  his  busi- 
ness in  connection  with  the  Cunard  Steamship  Company, 
exporting  the  product  of  his  mills — flour,  oatmeal,  and 
pearl  barley — and  importing  British  goods  which  he  sold 
in  his  store  to  the  farmers  for  their  produce.  Such  a 
medium  of  exchange  was  a  necessity,  and  the  business 
prospered  till  the  financial  depression  which  tested  the 
foundations  of  British  commerce  swept  over  the  empire. 
Shipbuilding  was  suspended,  and  export  trade  was  threat- 
ened with  extinction.  James  Simpson  sold  his  business 
and  with  part  of  the  proceeds  bought  a  farm  in  Western 

Miss  Louisa  Simpson,  the  only  surviving  member  of 
the  household,  gives  us  the  following  intimate  sketch  of 
the  journey  to  their  new  home  and  of  the  family. 

"When  my  father  moved  to  this  country  in  1847,  he 


chartered  a  sailing  vessel,  and,  taking  with  him  seven 
families  some  of  whom  had  worked  with  him  in  his  large 
business,  crossed  the  Gulf  of  St.  Lawrence  and  sailed 
up  the  river.  At  Montreal  he  took  a  boat  for  the  Great 
Lakes.  From  Detroit  a  river  boat  brought  us  up  the 
Thames  to  Chatham.  It  was  a  journey  of  thrilling  pleas- 
ure to  me.  Albert,  then  three  and  one-half  years  old, 
was  sick  all  the  time,  and  it  was  a  great  trial  to  him. 
On  his  arrival  at  Chatham,  father  at  once  bought  valuable 
property  and  settled  us  in  a  nice  home,  intending  to 
remain  permanently  and  enter  into  partnership  with  a 
shipbuilder  in  town ;  but  our  little  sister  took  ill  and  died 
in  an  epidemic  which  nearly  depleted  the  town  of  its 
infants;  and  my  mother,  in  dread  for  the  rest  of  the 
children,  insisted  on  going  to  the  farm  nine  miles  away, 
not  caring  what  the  hardships  might  be  if  only  she  could 
save  her  three  remaining  children  from  death. 

"Father  was  not  a  farmer,  and  it  was  a  hard  struggle 
for  him,  but  he  was  very  courageous  and  with  hired  help 
he  soon  cleared  the  farm.  Being  an  excellent  carpenter, 
he  converted  the  log  house  into  a  comfortable  home  and 
with  his  own  hands  made  beautiful  furniture  from  the 
walnut  on  the  farm.  My  mother  decorated  the  home  and 
surrounded  it  with  beautiful  flowers.  A  few  years  later 
a  new  house  and  fine  farm  buildings  were  erected.  The 
surrounding  country  was  gradually  transformed  into  the 
garden  of  Western  Ontario. 

"While  speaking  of  my  father,  I  feel  that  I  owe  it  to 
his  memory  to  say  that,  in  a  period  ranging  from  my 
babyhood  till  he  was  nearly  eighty-five  years  of  age,  I 
never  once  saw  him  lose  his  temper  or  say  an  unkind  word , 
to  anyone,  though  I  often  saw  him  hurt  deeply,  for  he  t    » 
was  very  tender  and  most  affectionate.    His  life  was  ra-    \/ 


diant  with  sunshine.  As  my  brother  James,  who  Hved 
on  the  farm,  stood  with  me  beside  father's  coffin,  he  said 
almost  enviously,  'There  lies  a  man  who  never  wronged 
his  fellow.' 

"Mother  was  a  most  earnest  Christian  all  her  life.  She 
was  a  woman  of  the  highest  ideals.  I  could  add  a  long 
list  to  the  names  of  her  favorite  poets  which  my  brother 
has  mentioned.  In  fact  we  had  about  all  the  poets  worth 
while  in  our  little  library.  What  Albert  says  in  his  sketch 
regarding  her  sensitive  nature  and  poetic  temperament 
is  emphatically  true.  Deeply  religious,  she  trained  us 
to  take  everything  to  God  in  prayer.  When  I  was  not 
more  than  six  years  old,  I  used  to  talk  to  Jesus  and  tell 
Him  everything  as  if  He  were  really  present  in  person. 

"With  such  parents  ours  was  a  very  happy  home.  The 
children  who  were  brought  to  the  farm  and  the  others 
who  were  born  there  made  a  large  family  circle.  Albert 
was  very  timid  and  imaginative,  and  anything  unusual 
left  a  deep  impress  upon  his  memory.  The  thought  of 
punishment  would  fill  him  with  terror.  I  never  saw  him 
get  a  whipping;  and  if  he  ever  got  one,  it  was  very  ten- 
derly administered.  He  had  been  devoted  to  the  Lord 
in  his  infancy,  but  my  parents  withheld  this  knowledge 
from  him  as  they  felt  that  God  alone  had  any  right  to 
influence  him  in  this  matter. 

"Howard  was  four  years  older  than  Albert.  He  was 
shy,  sensitive,  affectionate,  a  great  lover  of  flowers  and 
of  everything  beautiful,  a  brilliant  student,  and  a  writer 
of  many  poems  of  considerable  merit,  yet  he  thought 
nothing  of  his  own  attainments.  His  thirst  for  knowledge 
was  insatiable,  and  he  would  stand  beside  his  father  at 
his  work  all  day  and  ply  him  with  questions.  He  was 
always  delicate,  probably  as  the  result  of  being  burned 


almost  to  death  when  less  than  three  years  old,  and  he 
contracted  an  illness  during  his  last  pastorate  in  Frank- 
fort, Indiana,  necessitating  his  retirement  from  active 
work  while  still  in  middle  Hfe  and  his  return  to  Chatham 
where  he  died  August  22nd,  1888. 

"James  Darnley  was  born  on  the  farm,  and  there  he 
spent  his  life.  Sturdy  and  healthy,  he  w^as  generous  to  a 
fault.  Albert  when  writing  to  my  father  spoke  of  him 
as  'my  noble  brother  James.'  He  united  mother's  high 
ideals  and  father's  beautiful  disposition.  His  conversion 
was  very  similar  to  Albert's,  his  conviction  of  sin  being 
terrible,  and  his  peace,  when  at  last  it  came,  was  most 
profound.  He  lived  wholly  for  others,  helping  them  in 
their  bodily  needs  in  order  to  reach  their  souls. 

"Peter  Gordon,  our  youngest  brother,  was  a  carpenter 
and  builder.  In  temperament  he  was  mathematical  rather 
than  literary.  He  was  delicate  in  health  and  died  at  the 
age  of  forty-seven. 

"We  had  a  little  sister,  Elizabeth  Eleanor,  born  on 
Albert's  birthday,  December  15th,  1852,  of  whom  he  was 
exceedingly  fond,  but  she  was  taken  from  us  when  less 
than  four  years  old.    A  baby  brother  died  at  birth. 

"And  now  the  family  tree  has  but  one  leaf  left,  and 
that  is  fluttering  in  the  breeze  ready  to  drop — the  little 
sister  and  helper  of  the  rest — and  soon  all  will  meet 
above  an  unbroken  family,  not  one  missing." 



AT  the  urgent  request  of  friends,  Dr.  Simpson  began 
an  autobiography  and  wrote  a  few  pages,  sketching 
in  his  racy  style  some  of  the  events  of  his  early  years. 
His  disinclination  to  speak  of  himself,  which  was  a  note- 
worthy characteristic,  overcame  him,  and  he  left  us  only 
what  follows  in  this  chapter  and  a  few  paragraphs  which 
appear  in  the  story  of  his  college  days. 

"The  earliest  recollection  of  my  childhood  is  the  picture 
of  my  mother  as  I  often  heard  her  in  the  dark  and  lonely 
nights  weeping  in  her  room;  and  I  still  remember  how 
I  used  to  rise  and  kneel  beside  my  little  bed,  even  before 
I  knew  God  for  myself,  and  pray  for  Him  to  coqifort 
her.  The  cause  of  her  grief  I  afterwards  better  under- 
stood. In  that  lonely  cabin,  separated  from  the  social 
traditions  to  which  she  had  been  accustomed  and  from 
all  the  friends  she  held  so  dear,  it  was  little  wonder  that 
she  should  often  spend  her  nights  in  weeping,  and  that 
her  little  boy  should  find  his  first  religious  experiences  in 
trying  to  grope  his  way  to  the  heart  of  Him.  who  alone 
could  help  her. 

'T  would  not  leave  the  impression  that  my  beloved 
mother  was  not  a  sincere  and  earnest  Christian,  but  she 
had  not  yet  learned  of  that  deep  peace,  which  came  to 
my  own  heart  later  in  life,  and  which  alone  can  make 
us  independent  of  our  surroundings  and  conditions.  She 
was  of  a  sensitive  and  highly  poetic  temperament.  Her 
favorite  reading  was  old  English  ppets.     She  delighted 


in  Milton,  Pollock,  Thompson,  Kirke,  White,  and  others 
of  that  highly  imaginative  school,  and  I  am  sure  that  I 
have  inherited  a  certain  amount  of  inspiration  from  her 
lofty  nature. 

"My  next  reminiscence  has  also  a  tinge  of  religion 
about  it.  I  had  lost  a  boy's  chief  treasure — a  jack-knife, 
and  I  still  remember  the  impulse  that  came  to  me  to  kneel 
down  and  pray  about  it.  Soon  afterwards  I  was  dehghted 
to  find  it.  The  incident  made  a  profound  impression  upon 
my  young  heart  and  gave  me  a  life-long  conviction,  which 
has  since  borne  fruit  innumerable  times,  that  it  is  our 
privilege  to  take  everything  to  God  in  prayer.  I  do  not 
mean  to  convey  the  idea  that  I  was  at  this  time  already 
converted.  I  only  knew  God  in  a  broken,  far-away  sense ; 
but  I  can  see  now  that  God  was  then  discounting  my 
future,  and  treating  me  in  advance  as  if  I  were  already 
His  child,  because  He  knew  that  I  would  come  to  Plim 
later  and  accept  Him  as  my  personal  Saviour  and  Father. 
This  perhaps  explains  why  God  does  so  many  things  in 
answer  to  prayer  for  persons  who  do  not  yet  know  Him 
fully.  He  is  treating  them  on  the  principle  of  faith,  and 
calling  'the  things  that  are  not  as  though  they  were.' 

"The  truth  is  the  influences  around  my  childhood  were 
not  as  favorable  to  early  conversion  as  they  are  today  in 
many  Christian  homes.  My  father  w'as  a  good  Presby- 
terian elder  of  the  old  school,  and  believed  in  the  Shorter 
Catechism,  the  doctrine  of  foreordination,  and  all  the  con- 
ventional principles  of  a  well  ordered  Puritan  household. 
He  was  himself  a  devout  Christian  and  most  regular  in 
all  his  religious  habits.  He  was  an  influential  officer  in 
the  Church  and  much  respected  for  his  knowledge  of  the 
Scriptures,  his  consistent  life,  his  sound  judgment,  and  his 
strong,  practical  common  sense.    I  can  still  see  him  rising 


long  before  daylight,  sitting  down  with  his  Hghtcd  candle 
in  the  family  room,  tarrying  long  at  his  morning  devo- 
tions, and  the  picture  filled  my  childish  soul  with  a  kind 
of  sacred  awe.  We  were  brought  up  according  to  the 
strictest  Puritan  formulas.  When  we  did  not  go  to 
church  on  Sunday  in  the  family  wagon,  a  distance  of 
nine  miles,  we  were  all  assembled  in  the  sitting  room,  and 
for  hours  father,  mother,  or  one  of  the  older  children 
read  in  turn  from  some  good  old  book  that  was  far  be- 
yond my  understanding.  It  gives  me  a  chill  to  this  day 
to  see  the  cover  of  one  of  those  old  books,  such  as  Bos- 
ton's Fourfold  State,  Baxter's  Saints'  Rest,  or  Dod- 
deridge's  Rise  and  Progress  of  Religion  in  the  Soul,  for 
it  was  with  these,  and  such  as  these,  that  my  youthful 
soul  was  disciplined.  The  only  seasons  of  relief  came 
when  it  happened  to  be  my  turn  to  read.  Then  my  heart 
would  swell  with  pleasure,  and  I  fear  with  self-conscious 
pride,  and  for  a  time  I  would  forget  the  weariness  of  the 
volume.  In  the  afternoon  we  all  had  to  stand  in  a  row 
and  answer  questions  from  the  Shorter  Catechism.  There 
were  about  one  hundred  and  fifty  questions  in  all.  Our 
rule  was  to  take  several  each  Sunday  till  they  were  fin- 
ished, and  then  start  over  again  and  keep  it  up  from  year 
to  year  as  the  younger  children  grew  up  and  joined  the 

"My  good  father  believed  in  the  efficacy  of  the  rod, 
and  I  understood  this  so  well  that  I  succeeded  in  es- 
caping most  dispensations  of  that  kind.  One  of  the  few 
whippings,  however,  which  I  remember,  came  one  Sab- 
bath afternoon  when  the  sun  was  shining  and  the  weather 
was  delightful.  I  ventured  to  slip  out  of  the  house,  and 
was  unfortunately  seen  by  my  father  scampering  'round 
the  yard  in  the  joy  of  my  ungodly  liberty.    I  was  speedily 

lo  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

called  back  and  told  with  great  solemnity  that  I  would  get 
my  whipping  the  next  morning  after  breakfast,  for  it 
was  not  considered  quite  the  thing  to  break  the  Sabbath 
even  by  a  whipping.  I  got  the  whipping  that  was  coming 
to  me  all  right  the  next  morning.  But  I  still  remember 
how  my  elder  brother,  who  had  a  much  wider  experience 
and  a  deeper  mind  than  I,  took  me  aside  that  day  and 
told  me  that  if  I  was  ever  condemned  to  a  whipping,  he 
knew  a  way  of  getting  out  of  it.  Then  he  told  me  with 
great  secrecy  that  if  such  an  occasion  should  arise,  to  get 
up  that  morning  before  daylight,  a  little  before  my 
father  was  accustomed  to  rise,  light  the  candle,  and  go 
and  sit  in  a  corner  of  the  sitting-room  with  the  big  Bible 
before  me,  showing  a  proper  spirit  of  penitence  and  se- 
riousness. He  had  found  by  experience  that  my  father 
would  take  the  hint  and  let  him  off.  I  am  sorry  to  say 
that  my  heart  was  as  yet  sufficiently  unsanctified  to  take 
the  hint,  and  sure  enough  one  morning  when  a  whipping 
was  coming  to  me,  I  stole  out  of  my  bed  and  sat  down 
with  a  very  demure  and  solemn  face  to  practice  my  pre- 
tended devotions.  I  can  still  see  my  quiet  and  silent 
father  sitting  at  the  table  and  casting  side  glances  at  me 
from  under  his  spectacles  as  though  to  make  quite  sure 
that  I  was  truly  in  earnest.  After  finishing  his  devotions, 
he  quietly  slipped  away  to  his  work,  and  nothing  more 
was  said  about  the  chastisement. 

"Looking  back  on  these  early  influences,  I  cannot  say 
I  wholly  regret  the  somewhat  stern  mould  in  which  my 
early  life  was  shaped.  It  taught  me  a  spirit  of  reverence 
and  wholesome  discipline  for  which  I  have  often  had 
cause  to  thank  God,  the  absence  of  which  is  perhaps 
the  greatest  loss  of  the  rising  generation  today.  It  threw 
Qver  my  youthful  spirit  a  natural  horror  of  evil  things 


which  often  safeguarded  me  afterwards  when  thrown  as 
a  young  man  amid  the  temptations  of  the  world.  The 
religious  knowledge,  which  was  crammed  into  my  mind 
even  without  my  understanding  it,  furnished  me  with 
forms  of  doctrine  and  statements  of  truth  which  after- 
wards became  illuminated  by  the  Holy  Spirit  and  realized 
in  my  own  experience,  and  thus  became  ultimately  the 
precious  vessels  for  holding  the  treasures  of  divine  knowl- 
edge. In  our  later  family  history  these  severe  restraints 
were  withdrawn  from  the  younger  members  as  a  new  age 
threw  its  more  relaxing  influence  over  our  home ;  but  I 
cannot  say  that  the  change  proved  a  beneficial  one.  I 
believe  that  the  true  principle  of  family  training  is  a 
blending  of  thorough  discipHne  with  true  Christian  liberty 
and  love. 

"My  childhood  and  youth  were  strangely  sheltered  and 
guarded  by  divine  providence.  I  recall  with  sacred  awe 
many  times  when  my  life  was  almost  miraculously  pre- 
served. On  one  occasion,  while  climbing  up  on  the  scaf- 
folding of  a  building  in  course  of  erection,  I  stepped  upon 
a  loose  board  which  tipped  over  and  plunged  me  into 
space.  Instinctively  throwing  out  my  hands,  I  caught  a 
piece  of  timber,  one  of  the  flooring  joists,  and  desper- 
ately held  on,  crying  for  assistance.  When  exhausted  and 
about  to  fall,  a  workman  caught  me  just  in  time.  The 
fall  would  certainly  have  killed  me  or  maimed  me  for  life. 

"At  another  time  I  was  thrown  headlong  over  my 
horse's  head  as  he  stumbled  and  fell  under  me.  When  I 
came  back  to  consciousness,  I  found  him  bending  over 
me  with  his  nose  touching  my  face,  almost  as  if  he 
wanted  to  speak  to  me  and  encourage  me.  At  another 
time  I  was  kicked  into  unconsciousness  by  a  dangerous 

12  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

horse,  and  still  remember  the  awful  struggle  to  recover 
my  breath  as  I  thought  myself  dying. 

"Once  I  had  a  remarkable  escape  from  drowning.  I 
had  gone  with  one  of  my  schoolmates  in  the  High  School 
to  gather  wild  grapes  on  the  banks  of  the  river.  After 
a  while  my  companion  tempted  me  to  go  in  swimming,  an 
art  about  which  I  knew  nothing.  In  a  few  moments  I  got 
beyond  my  depth,  and  with  an  agony  I  shall  always  re- 
member, I  found  myself  choking  under  the  surface.  In 
that  moment  the  whole  of  my  life  came  before  me  as  if 
in  a  vision,  and  I  can  well  understand  the  stories  told 
by  drowning  persons  of  the  photograph  that  seems  to 
come  to  their  minds  in  the  last  moment  of  consciousness. 
I  remember  seeing  as  clearly  as  if  I  had  read  it  from 
the  printed  page,  the  notice  in  the  local  newspaper  telling 
of  my  drowning  and  the  grief  and  sorrow  of  my  friends. 
Somehow  God  mercifully  saved  me.  My  companion  was 
too  frightened  to  help  me,  but  his  shouts  attracted  some 
men  in  a  little  boat  a  short  distance  away,  and  they  pulled 
me  out  just  as  I  was  sinking  for  the  last  time,  and  laid 
me  on  the  river  bank.  As  I  came  back  to  consciousness 
a  while  afterwards,  it  seemed  to  me  that  years  had 
passed  since  I  was  last  on  earth.  I  am  sure  that  expe- 
rience greatly  deepened  my  spiritual  earnestness. 

"But,  like  other  boys,  I  often  passed  from  the  sublime 
to  the  ridiculous  as  this  little  incident  will  show.  It  was 
my  good  fortune  to  secure  as  a  first  prize  in  the  High 
School  an  extremely  handsome  book  which  my  chum,  who 
had  failed  in  the  examination,  had  set  his  heart  upon 
getting.  He  finally  succeeded  in  tempting  me  by  an  old 
violin,  with  which  he  used  to  practice  on  my  responsive 
heart,  until  at  last  I  was  persuaded  to  exchange  my  splen- 
did prize  for  his  old  fiddle.     The  following  summer  I 


took  it  home  and  made  night  hideous  and  myself  a  general 
nuisance.  I  had  never  really  succeeded  in  playing  any- 
thing worth  while,  but  there  must  have  been  somewhere 
in  my  nature  a  latent  vein  of  music,  and  still  to  me  the 
strains  of  the  violin  have  a  subtle  inspirational  power 
with  which  nothing  else  in  music  can  be  compared. 

"My  first  definite  religious  crisis  came  at  about  the  age 
of  fourteen.  Prior  to  this  I  had  for  a  good  while  been 
planning  to  study  for  the  ministry.  I  am  afraid  that  this 
came  to  me  in  the  first  instance  rather  as  a  conviction  of 
duty  than  a  spontaneous  Christian  impulse.  There  grew 
up  in  my  young  heart  a  great  conflict  about  my  future 
life;  naturally  I  rebelled  against  the  ministry  because  of 
the  restraints  which  it  would  put  upon  many  pleasures. 
One  irresistible  desire  was  to  have  a  gun  and  to  shoot 
and  hunt ;  and  I  reasoned  that  if  I  were  a  minister,  it 
would  never  do  for  me  to  indulge  in  such  pastimes. 

"I  was  cured  of  this  in  a  somewhat  tragic  way.  I  had 
saved  up  a  little  money,  earned  through  special  jobs  and 
carefully  laid  aside,  and  one  day  I  stole  off  to  the  town 
and  invested  it  in  a  shot  gun.  For  a  few  days  I  had  the 
time  of  my  life.  I  used  to  steal  out  to  the  woods  with 
my  forbidden  idol  and  then  with  my  sister's  help  smuggle 
it  back  to  the  garret.  One  day,  however,  my  mother 
found  it,  and  there  was  a  never-to-be-forgotten  scene. 
Her  own  brother  had  lost  his  life  through  the  accidental 
discharge  of  a  gun,  and  I  knew  and  should  have  re- 
membered that  such  things  were  proscribed  in  our  family. 
It  was  a  day  of  judgment  for  me;  and  when  that  wicked 
weapon  was  brought  from  its  hiding  place,  I  stood 
crushed  and  confounded  as  I  was  sentenced  to  the  deep 
humiliation  of  returning  it  to  the  man  from  whom  I 
bought  it,  losing  not  only  my  gun  but  my  money  too. 

14  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

"That  tragedy  settled  the  question  of  the  ministry.  I 
soon  after  decided  to  give  up  all  side  issues  and  prepare 
myself  if  I  could  only  find  a  way  to  preach  the  Gospel. 
But  as  yet  the  matter  had  not  even  been  mooted  in  the 
family.  One  day,  however,  my  father  in  his  quiet,  grave 
way,  with  my  mother  sitting  by,  called  my  elder  brother 
and  myself  into  his  presence  and  began  to  explain  that 
the  former  had  long  been  destined  to  the  ministry  and 
that  the  time  had  now  come  when  he  should  begin  his 
studies  and  prepare  to  go  to  college.  I  should  say  that 
at  this  time  we  both  had  an  excellent  common  school 
education.  My  father  added  that  he  had  a  little  money, 
rescued  from  the  wrecked  business  of  many  years  before, 
now  slowly  coming  in,  which  would  be  sufficient  to  give 
an  education  to  one  but  not  both  of  his  boys.  He  quietly 
concluded  that  it  would  be  my  duty  to  stay  at  home  on 
the  farm  while  my  brother  w^ent  to  college.  I  can  still 
feel  the  lump  that  rose  in  my  throat  as  I  stammered  out 
my  acquiescence.  Then  I  ventured  with  broken  words 
and  stammering  tongue  to  plead  that  they  would  consent 
to  my  getting  an  education  if  I  could  work  it  out  without 
asking  anything  from  them  but  their  approval  and  bless- 
ing. I  had  a  little  scheme  of  my  own  to  teach  school  and 
earn  the  money  for  my  education.  But  even  this  I  did 
not  dare  to  divulge,  for  I  was  but  a  lad  of  less  than  four- 
teen. I  remember  the  quiet  trembling  tones  with  which 
my  father  received  my  request  and  said,  'God  bless  you, 
my  boy.' 

"So  the  struggle  began,  and  I  shall  never  cease  to  thank 
God  that  it  was  a  hard  one.  Some  one  has  said,  'Many 
people  succeed  because  success  is  thrust  upon  them,'  but 
the  most  successful  lives  are  those  that  began  without  a 
penny.    Nothing  under  God  has  ever  been  a  greater  bless- 





A    B.  Simpson  at  Seventeen. 


ing  to  me  than  the  hard  places  that  began  with  me  more 
than  half  a  century  ago,  and  have  not  yet  ended. 

"For  the  first  few  months  my  brother  and  I  took  les- 
sons in  Latin,  Greek  and  higher  mathematics  from  a  re- 
tired minister  and  then  from  our  kind  pastor,  who  was  a 
good  scholar  and  ready  to  help  us  in  our  purpose.  Later 
I  pursued  my  studies  in  Chatham  High  School,  but  the 
strain  was  too  great,  and  I  went  back  to  my  father's 
house  a  physical  wreck.  Then  came  a  fearful  crash  in 
which  it  seemed  to  me  the  very  heavens  were  falling. 
After  retiring  one  night  suddenly  a  star  appeared  to 
blaze  before  my  eyes ;  and  as  I  gazed,  my  nerves  gave 
way.  I  sprang  from  my  bed  trembling  and  almost  faint- 
ing with  a  sense  of  impending  death,  and  then  fell  into  a 
congestive  chill  of  great  violence  that  lasted  all  night  and 
almost  took  my  life.  A  physician  told  me  that  I  must 
not  look  at  a  book  for  a  whole  year  for  my  nervous 
system  had  collapsed,  and  I  was  in  the  greatest  danger. 
There  followed  a  period  of  mental  and  physical  agony 
which  no  language  can  describe.  I  was  possessed  with 
the  idea  that  at  a  certain  hour  I  was  to  die;  and  every 
day  as  that  hour  drew  near,  I  became  prostrated  with 
dreadful  nervousness,  watching  in  agonized  suspense  till 
the  hour  pased,  and  wondering  that  I  was  still  alive. 

"One  day  the  situation  became  so  acute  that  nothing 
could  gainsay  it.  Terrified  and  sinking,  I  called  my  father 
to  my  bedside  and  besought  him  to  pray  for  me,  for  I 
felt  I  was  dying.  Worst  of  all  I  had  no  personal  hope 
in  Christ.  My  whole  religious  training  had  left  me  with- 
out any  conception  of  the  sweet  and  simple  Gospel  of 
Jesus  Christ.  The  God  I  knew  was  a  being  of  great 
severity,  and  my  theology  provided  in  some  mysterious 
way  for  a  wonderful  change  called  the  new  birth  or  re- 

i6  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

generation,  which  only  God  could  give  to  the  soul.  How 
I  longed  and  waited  for  that  change  to  come,  but  it  had 
not  yet  arrived.  Oh,  how  my  father  prayed  for  me  that 
day,  and  how  I  cried  in  utter  despair  for  God  to  spare 
mc  just  long  enough  to  be  saved!  After  that  dreadful 
sense  of  sinking  at  last  a  little  rest  came,  and  the  crisis 
was  over  for  another  day.  I  looked  at  the  clock,  and 
the  hour  had  passed.  I  believed  that  God  was  going  to 
spare  me  just  one  day  more,  and  that  I  must  strive  and 
pray  for  salvation  that  whole  day  as  a  doomed  man.  How 
I  prayed  and  besought  others  to  pray,  and  almost  feared 
to  go  to  sleep  that  night  lest  I  should  lose  a  moment  from 
my  search  for  God  and  eternal  life;  but  the  day  passed, 
and  I  was  not  saved.  It  now  seems  strange  that  there 
was  no  voice  there  to  tell  me  the  simple  way  of  believing 
in  the  promise  and  accepting  the  salvation  fully  provided 
and  freely  oflfered.  How  often  since  then  it  has  been 
my  delight  to  tell  poor  sinners  that 

"We  do  not  need  at  Mercy's  gate 

To  knock  and  weep,  and  watch  and  wait; 
For  Mercy's  gifts   are  offered   free, 
And  she  has  waited  long  for  thee. 

"After  that,  as  day  after  day  passed,  I  rallied  a  little, 
and  my  life  seemed  to  hang  upon  a  thread,  for  I  had  the 
hope  that  God  would  spare  me  long  enough  to  find  sal- 
vation if  I  only  continued  to  seek  it  with  all  my  heart. 
At  length  one  day,  in  the  library  of  my  old  minister  and 
teacher,  I  stumbled  upon  an  old  musty  volume  called 
Marshall's  Gospel  Mystery  of  Sanctification.  As  I  turned 
the  leaves,  my  eyes  fell  upon  a  sentence  which  opened 
for  me  the  gates  of  life  eternal.  It  is  this  in  substance: 
'The  first  good  work  you  will  ever  perform  is  to  believe 


on  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ.  Until  you  do  this,  all  your 
works,  prayers,  tears,  and  good  resolutions  are  vain.  To 
believe  on  the  Lord  Jesus  is  just  to  believe  that  He  saves 
you  according  to  His  Word,  that  He  receives  and  saves 
you  here  and  now,  for  He  has  said — 'Him  that  cometh 
to  me  I  will  in  no  wise  cast  out.'  The  moment  you  do 
this,  you  will  pass  into  eternal  life,  you  will  be  justified  | 
from  all  your  sins,  and  receive  a  new  heart  and  all  the 
gracious  operations  of  the  Holy  Spirit.' 

"To  my  poor  bewildered  soul  this  was  like  the  light 
from  heaven  that  fell  upon  Saul  of  Tarsus  on  his  way 
to  Damascus.  I  immediately  fell  upon  my  knees,  and 
looking  up  to  the  Lord,  I  said,  'Lord  Jesus,  Thou  hast 
said — Him  that  cometh  unto  me  I  will  in  no  wise  cast 
out.  Thou  knowest  how  long  and  earnestly  I  have  tried 
to  come,  but  I  did  not  know  how.  Now  I  come  the  best 
I  can,  and  I  dare  to  believe  that  Thou  dost  receive  me  and 
save  me,  and  that  I  am  now  Thy  child,  forgiven  and  saved 
simply  because  I  have  taken  Thee  at  Thy  word.  Abba 
Father,  Thou  art  mine,  and  I  am  Thine.' 

"It  is  needless  to  say  that  I  had  a  fight  of  faith  with 
the  great  Adversary  before  1  was  able  to  get  out  all  these 
words  and  dared  to  make  this  confession  of  my  faith ;  but 
I  had  no  sooner  made  it  and  set  my  seal  to  it  than  there 
came  to  my  heart  that  divine  assurance  that  always  comes 
to  the  believing  soul,  for  'He  that  believeth  hath  the  wit- 
ness in  himself.'  I  had  been  seeking  the  witness  without 
believing,  but  from  the  moment  that  I  dared  to  believe 
the  Word,  1  had  the  assurance  that 

'The    Spirit   answers   to   the   blood 
And  tells  me  I  am  born  of  God.' 

"After  my  health  was  restored,  I  secured  a  certificate 

i8  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

as  a  common  school  teacher,  and  at  the  early  age  of  six- 
teen I  began  teaching  a  public  school  of  forty  pupils. 
One-quarter  of  the  pupils  were  grown  up  men  and  women 
while  I  looked  even  younger  than  my  years  and  would 
have  given  anything  for  a  few  whiskers  or  something  that 
would  have  made  me  look  older.  I  often  wonder  how 
I  was  able  to  hold  in  control  these  rough  country  fellows, 
but  I  can  see  that  it  was  the  hand  of  the  Lord,  and  He 
was  pleased  to  give  me  a  power  that  did  not  consist  in 
brawn  or  muscle.  My  object  in  teaching  was  to  earn 
money  for  my  first  cycle  of  college,  and  along  with  my 
teaching  I  was  studying  hard  every  spare  moment  between 
times  to  prepare  for  the  first  examination  of  my  college 

"The  months  that  followed  my  conversion  were  full  of 
spiritual  blessing.  The  promises  of  God  burst  upon  m.y 
soul  with  a  new  and  marvelous  light,  and  words  that  had 
been  empty  before  became  divine  revelations,  and  every 
one  seemed  specially  meant  for  me.  I  think  I  had  in- 
herited from  my  mother  a  vein  of  imagination,  and  it 
clothed  the  glowing  promises  of  Isaiah  and  Jeremiah  with 
a  glory  that  no  language  could  express.  With  unspeak- 
able ecstasy  I  read  and  marked,  T  have  sworn  that  I  will 
never  be  wroth  with  thee,  nor  rebuke  thee ;  for  the  moun- 
tains shall  depart  and  the  hills  be  removed,  saith  the 
Lord  that  hath  mercy  on  thee.'  When  I  heard  other 
Christians  talking  of  their  failures  and  fears,  I  wondered 
if  a  time  would  ever  come  when  I  should  lose  this  su- 
preme joy  of  a  soul  in  its  earliest  love;  and  I  remember 
how  I  used  to  pray  that  rather  than  let  me  go  back  to 
the  old  life,  the  Lord  would  take  me  at  once  to  heaven. 

"One  of  the  memorable  incidents  of  my  early  Chris- 
tian life,  of  which  I  still  have  the  old  and  almost  faded 


manuscript,  was  my  covenant  with  God.  While  I  was 
teaching  school,  I  had  been  reading  Doddridge's  Rise  and 
Progress  of  Religion  in  the  Soul,  in  which  he  recom- 
mends young  Christians  to  enter  into  a  written  covenant 
with  God.  I  determined  to  follow  this  suggestion  and 
set  apart  a  whole  day  to  fasting  and  prayer  to  this  pur- 
pose. I  wrote  out  at  great  length  a  detailed  transaction 
in  which  I  gave  myself  entirely  to  God  and  took  Him  for 
every  promised  blessing,  and  especially  to  use  my  life 
for  His  service  and  glory.  There  was  a  certain  special 
blessing,  partly  temporal  and  partly  spiritual,  which  I  in- 
cluded in  my  specifications.  I  have  since  often  wondered 
how  literally  God  had  fulfilled  this  to  me  in  His  won- 
derful and  gracious  providences  throughout  my  fife,  and 
I  can  truly  say  after  more  than  two  generations  that  not 
one  word  hath  failed  of  all  in  which  He  caused  me  to 
hope.  Before  the  close  of  the  day  I  signed  and  sealed 
this  covenant  just  as  formally  as  I  would  have  done  with 
a  human  contract  and  have  kept  it  until  this  day. 

"The  Dedication  of  Myself  to  God 

"O  Thou  everlasting  and  almighty  God,  Ruler  of  the 
universe,  Thou  who  madest  this  world  and  me,  Thy 
creature  upon  it.  Thou  who  art  in  every  place  beholding 
the  evil  and  the  good,  Thou  seest  me  at  this  time  and 
knowest  all  my  thoughts.  I  know  and  feel  that  my  in- 
most thoughts  are  all  familiar  to  Thee,  and  Thou  knowest 
what  motives  have  induced  me  to  come  to  Thee  at  this 
time.    I  appeal  to  Thee,  O  Thou  Searcher  of  hearts,  so 

♦Evidently  Dr.   Simpson  did  not  intend  to  publsh  this  covenant, 
but  it  is  so  illuminating  that  we  insert  it.     (Ed.) 

20  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

far  as  I  know  my  own  heart,  it  is  not  a  worldly  motive 
that  has  brought  me  before  Thee  now.  But  my  'heart 
is  deceitful  above  all  things  and  desperately  wicked,'  and 
I  would  not  pretend  to  trust  to  it ;  but  Thou  knowest  that 
I  have  a  desire  to  dedicate  myself  to  Thee  for  time  and 
eternity.  I  would  come  before  Thee  as  a  sinner,  lost  and 
ruined  by  the  fall,  and  by  my  actual  transgressions,  yea, 
as  the  vilest  of  all  Thy  creatures.  When  I  look  back 
on  my  past  life,  I  am  filled  with  shame  and  confusion. 
I  am  rude  and  ignorant,  and  in  Thy  sight  a  beast.  Thou, 
O  Lord,  didst  make  Adam  holy  and  happy,  and  gavest 
him  abihty  to  maintain  his  state.  The  penalty  of  his  dis- 
obedience was  death,  but  he  disobeyed  Thy  holy  law  and 
incurred  that  penalty,  and  I,  as  a  descendant  from  him, 
have  inherited  this  depravity  and  this  penalty.  I  acknowl- 
edge the  justness  of  Thy  sentence,  O  Lord,  and  would 
bow  in  submission  before  Thee. 

"How  canst  Thou,  O  Lord,  condescend  to  look  on  me, 
a  vile  creature?  For  it  is  infinite  condescension  to  notice 
me.  But  truly.  Thy  loving  kindness  is  infinite  and  from 
everlasting.  Thou,  O  Lord,  didst  send  Thy  son  in  our 
image,  with  a  body  such  as  mine  and  a  reasonable  soul. 
In  Him  were  united  all  the  perfections  of  the  Godhead 
with  the  humility  of  our  sinful  nature.  He  is  the  Media- 
tor of  the  New  Covenant,  and  through  Him  we  all  have 
access  unto  Thee  by  the  same  Spirit.  Through  Jesus,  the 
only  Mediator,  I  would  come  to  Thee,  O  Lord,  and  trust- 
ing in  His  merits  and  mediation,  I  would  boldly  approach 
Thy  throne  of  grace.  I  feel  my  own  insignificance,  O 
Lord,  but  do  Thou  strengthen  me  by  Thy  Spirit.  I 
would  now  approach  Thee  in  order  to  covenant  with 
Thee  for  life  everlasting.  Thou  in  Thy  Word  hast  told 
us  that  it  is  Thy  Will  that  all  who  believe  in  Thy  Son 


might  have  everlasting  life  and  Thou  wilt  raise  him  up 
at  the  last  day.  Thou  hast  given  us  a  New  Covenant 
and  hast  sealed  that  covenant  in  Thy  blood,  O  Jesus,  on 
the  Cross. 

"I  now  declare  before  Thee  and  before  my  conscience, 
and  bear  witness,  O  ye  heavens,  and  all  the  inhabitants 
thereof,  and  thou  earth,  which  my  God  has  made,  that 
I  accept  of  the  conditions  of  this  covenant  and  close  with 
its  terms.  These  are  that  I  beHeve  on  Jesus  and  accept 
of  salvation  through  Him,  my  Prophet,  Priest,  and  King, 
as  made  unto  me  of  God  wisdom  and  righteousness  and 
sanctification  and  redemption  and  complete  salvation. 
Thou,  O  Lord,  hast  made  me  willing  to  come  to  Thee. 
Thou  hast  subdued  my  rebellious  heart  by  Thy  love.  So 
now  take  it  and  use  it  for  Thy  glory.  Whatever  rebel- 
lious thoughts  may  arise  therein,  do  Thou  overcome  them 
and  bring  into  subjection  everything  that  opposeth  itself 
to  Thy  authority.  I  yield  myself  unto  Thee  as  one  alive 
from  the  dead,  for  time  and  eternity.  Take  me  and  use 
me  entirely  for  Thy  glory. 

"Ratify  now  in  Heaven,  O  my  Father,  this  Covenant. 
Remember  it,  O  Lord,  when  Thou  bringest  me  to  the 
Jordan.  Remember  it,  O  Lord,  in  that  day  when  Thou 
comest  with  all  the  angels  and  saints  to  judge  the  world, 
and  may  I  be  at  Thy  right  hand  then  and  in  heaven  with 
Thee  forever.  Write  down  in  heaven  that  I  have  become 
Thine,  Thine  only,  and  Thine  forever.  Remember  me, 
O  Lord,  in  the  hour  of  temptation,  and  let  me  never 
depart  from  this  covenant.  I  feel,  O  Lord,  my  own  weak- 
ness and  do  not  make  this  in  my  own  strength,  else  I 
must  fail.  But  in  Thy  strength,  O  Captain  of  my  sal- 
vation, I  shall  be  strong  and  more  than  conqueror  through 
Him  who  loved  me. 

22  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

"I  have  now,  O  Lord,  as  Thou  hast  said  in  Thy  Word, 
covenanted  with  Thee,  not  for  worldly  honors  or  fame 
but  for  everlasting  life,  and  I  know  that  Thou  art  true 
and  shalt  never  break  Thy  holy  Word,  Give  to  me  now 
all  the  blessings  of  the  New  Covenant  and  especially  the 
Holy  Spirit  in  great  abundance,  which  is  the  earnest  of 
my  inheritance  until  the  redemption  of  the  purchased  pos- 
session. May  a  double  portion  of  Thy  Spirit  rest  upon 
me,  and  then  I  shall  go  and  proclaim  to  transgressors 
Thy  ways  and  Thy  laws  to  the  people.  Sanctify  me 
wholly  and  make  me  fit  for  heaven.  Give  me  all  spiritual 
blessing  in  heavenly  places  in  Christ  Jesus. 

"I  am  now  a  soldier  of  the  Cross  and  a  follower  of  the 
Lamb,  and  my  motto  from  henceforth  is  *I  have  one 
King,  even  Jesus.'  Support  and  strengthen  me,  O  my 
Captain,  and  be  mine  forever. 

"Place  me  in  what  circumstances  Thou  mayest  desire ; 
but  if  it  be  Thy  holy  will,  I  desire  that  Thou  'give  me 
neither  poverty  nor  riches ;  feed  me  with  food  convenient, 
lest  I  be  poor  and  steal,  or  lest  I  be  rich  and  say.  Who 
is  the  Lord?'  But  Thy  will  be  done.  Now  give  me 
Thy  Spirit  and  Thy  protection  in  my  heart  at  all  times, 
and  then  I  shall  drink  of  the  rivers  of  salvation,  lie  down 
by  still  waters,  and  be  infinitely  happy  in  the  favor  of 
my  God. 
"Saturday,  January  19,  1861." 

Written  across  this  covenant  are  the  following  re- 
newals ;  one  of  which  was  made  during  his  third  year 
in  College  and  the  other  during  his  second  pastorate. 

"September  i,  1863.  Backslidden.  Restored.  Yet  too 
cold.  Lord.     I  still  wish  to  continue  this.     Pardon  the 


past  and  strengthen  me  for  the  future,  for  Jesus'  sake. 

"Louisville,  Ky.,  April  18,  1878.  Renew  this  covenant 
and  dedication  amid  much  temptation  and  believe  that 
my  Father  accepts  me  anew  and  gives  me  more  than  I 
have  dared  to  ask  or  think,  for  Jesus'  sake.  He  has  kept 
His  part.  My  one  desire  now  is  power,  light,  love,  souls, 
Christ's  indwelling,  and  my  church's  salvation." 


IT  was  no  easy  path  that  led  from  the  farm  on  the 
Ontario  lowlands  to  the  pulpit  and  the  manse.  In  the 
Presbyterian  Church  of  Canada  the  ministry  was  a  sacred 
and  carefully  safeguarded  calling.  The  Church  Session, 
the  Presbytery,  the  Faculty  and  the  Senate  of  the  College 
must  all  be  satisfied  as  to  the  fitness  of  the  candidate. 
Beyond  these  lay  the  supreme  test,  for  in  the  Presbyte- 
rian democracy  every  congregation  is  a  final  court  of 
decision  as  to  its  minister.  He  cannot  be  settled  as  a 
pastor  until  be  has  "a  call"  from  a  congregation,  and  in 
those  days  a  call  was  never  extended  until  a  number  of 
candidates  had  been  heard  in  the  pulpit,  their  merits  de- 
termined, and  a  decision  reached  by  vote  of  the  church. 

To  a  devout  family  no  higher  honor  could  come  than 
to  have  a  son  in  the  pulpit,  and  many  were  the  parents 
who,  like  the  Simpsons,  dedicated  their  firstborn  as  an 
offering  to  God  and  the  Church.  To  have  another  son 
choose  this  path  was  a  double  honor.  Dr.  Simpson  has 
given  us  a  vivid  picture  of  the  family  council  when  his 
father  announced  that  Howard,  the  firstborn,  had  been 
dedicated  to  the  ministry,  and  when  he  himself  informed 
the  family  of  his  own  desire.  To  one  member  of  the 
circle  that  confession  was  no  surprise.  His  sister  says: 
"Like  little  Samuel,  he  was  given  to  the  Lord  from  his 
birth.  My  mother  told  me  that  she  gave  him  to  the  Lord 
to  use  him  in  life  or  death ;  to  be  a  minist?er  and  a  foreign 
missionary,  if  the  Lord  so  willed,  and  he  lived  to  grow 


up  and  was  so  inclined."  He  had,  in  fact,  given  early 
indications  of  his  inclination.  The  children  were  some- 
times left  at  home  when  the  parents  journeyed  nine  miles 
to  church  in  Chatham.  On  such  occasions,  Albert,  when 
not  more  than  ten  years  old,  would  fit  up  the  kitchen 
table  as  a  pulpit  and  preach  to  the  rest  of  the  children. 

Yet  honor  meant  accountability,  and  the  parents  felt  a 
keen  sense  of  responsibility  for  their  full  share  in  the 
making  of  a  minister.  Had  their  boy  the  "pairts,"  as 
the  Scotch  termed  natural  ability?  Was  the  call  of  God 
upon  him?  Had  he  surrendered  earthly  joys  and  am- 
bitions for  this  heavenly  calling?  Could  the  family  pro- 
vide for  his  education?  All  this  and  much  more  is  evi- 
dent in  Mr.  Simpson's  description  of  the  scene  in  the 
family  circle  where,  with  fear  and  trembling,  he  made 
known  his  desires.  But  when  once  the  decision  was 
made,  the  family  never  thought  of  turning  back.  The 
two  boys  had  been  the  mainstay  on  the  farm,  but  hence- 
forth they  were  primarily  students  and  not  farmers.  The 
parents  made  great  sacrifices,  and  the  other  members  of 
the  family  joined  heartily  in  the  plans  for  the  education 
of  their  brothers. 

Miss  Louisa  Simpson,  who  was  older  than  Albert,  re- 
calls the  struggle  through  which  they  went.  "My  brothers 
wanted  to  study  the  classics,  so  my  father  engaged  as 
tutor  a  retired  minister  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  a 
good  scholar,  and  the  boys  commenced  their  classical 
education  and  made  rapid  progress.  Later,  after  their 
tutor  had  left,  our  pastor,  the  Rev.  William  Walker, 
offered  to  give  them  lessons  twice  a  week  if  they  could 
go  into  town.  My  father  gave  them  a  horse  each,  and 
they  rode  the  nine  miles  to  the  Manse  to  get  their  lessons, 
and  thus  continued  their  studies  for  a  length  of  time. 

26  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Shortly  afterward  Albert  thought  it  would  be  better  to 
enter  the  High  School  at  Chatham  and  give  his  entire 
time  to  study.  Howard  was  in  poor  health  and  thought 
he  would  have  to  discontinue  his  studies,  so  he  engag'ed 
as  school  teacher  and  taught  instead. 

"While  Albert  was  in  High  School,  the  drowning  inci- 
dent which  he  has  narrated  occurred.  Shortly  after- 
ward, Rev.  H.  Grattan  Guinness,  of  London,  England, 
visited  Chatham,  and  under  his  pungent  preaching  Albert 
was  deeply  convicted.  Still  under  conviction  he  walked 
home  for  the  week  end  and  was  lost  in  the  woods.  He 
wandered  upon  some  Indian  graves  which  had  been  dese- 
crated, and  the  gruesome  sight  greatly  affected  his  sensi- 
tive spirit,  not  yet  recovered  from  the  effect  of  the 
drowning  experience.  His  father  found  him  and  brought 
him  home,  but  a  long  illness  followed,  during  which  he 
suffered  intense  spiritual  darkness  and  often  could  sleep 
only  with  his  father's  arms  about  him.  It  was  during 
this  time  that  he  was  converted. 

"As  soon  as  he  recovered,  he  received  his  certificate 
and  secured  a  school  and  taught  till  the  end  of  September 
when  he  went  to  Toronto,  to  Knox  College,  Howard  re- 
maining behind  and  teaching  school  another  year.  Two 
other  members  of  the  family  were  teachers  and  the  farm 
was  quite  productive,  and  what  was  earned  or  raised  was 
gladly  drawn  upon  to  help  the  boys  in  their  education." 

There  is  an  apostolic  succession  in  Presbyterianism 
which  lies  deeper  than  a  formal  consecration  by  the  laying 
on  of  hands — a  succession  of  life,  of  spirit,  of  high  tra- 
ditions, of  intangible  realities.  When  a  lad  appears  in 
that  succession,  it  is  the  crowning  glory  of  a  pastor's 
ministry.  Rev.  William  Walker  had  the  unusual  joy  of 
introducing  two  sons  of  one  of  his  elders  into  that  fellow- 


ship.  With  the  devotion  that  characterized  the  godly 
minister  of  the  old  school,  he  counselled  them,  tutored 
them,  commended  them  to  the  Presbytery,  and  continued 
his  friendly  offices  during  their  course  of  preparation  for 
the  ministry. 

The  Presbytery  is  a  court  composed  of  the  ministers 
within  a  defined  area  and  a  representative  elder  from 
each  Church  Session.  It  is  their  prerogative  to  decide 
upon  the  merits  of  a  candidate  for  the  ministry,  to  accept 
him  as  a  catechist,  to  grant  him  the  privilege  of  preaching 
in  the  pulpit  as  occasion  offers,  to  recommend  him  to  the 
Church  College  which  he  wishes  to  attend,  to  license  him 
as  a  preacher  of  the  Gospel  when  his  course  is  completed, 
and,  when  he  is  called  to  be  the  minister  of  a  congregation, 
to  ordain  him  to  the  ministry.  The  old  time  Presbytery 
took  nothing  for  granted,  nor  did  it  trust  the  results  of 
secular  educational  examinations,  nor  for  that  matter 
those  given  by  the  Church  Colleges.  Democratic  to  an 
extreme,  it  jealously  guarded  its  own  honors  and  insisted 
that  the  candidate,  from  the  day  of  his  first  appearance 
before  it  until  by  its  hand  he  was  ordained,  should  prove 
himself  and  his  spiritual  and  intellectual  attainments  in 
at  least  an  annual  appearance  before  them.  By  such 
means  have  Presbyterians  maintained  the  high  standard 
of  their  traditions. 

Albert  B.  Simpson  appeared  with  other  candidates 
before  the  Presbytery  of  London,  Ontario,  on  October 
1st,  1 86 1.  According  to  custom,  they  sat  in  silence  while 
the  Presbytery  proceeded  with  its  routine  business.  Pres- 
ently a  committee  was  appointed  for  the  examination — 
and  what  an  examination  !  Their  antecedents,  their  char- 
acter, their  spiritual  experience,  their  attainments,  their 
soundness  in  the  faith,  and  their  "call"  must  all  be  in- 

28  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

quired  into.  When  the  report  was  presented  to  the 
Presbytery,  happy  were  they  on  finding  themselves  ex- 
cused from  reading  sermons  of  their  own  production  in 
this  fearsome  presence.  The  Presbytery  records  show 
that  they  all  passed  a  creditable  examination  and  were 
recommended  for  admission  to  Knox  College,  Toronto. 

We  are  curious  to  learn  how  a  boy  of  seventeen,  almost 
fresh  from  a  country  farm,  met  the  test  of  filling  the 
pulpits  of  those  old-time  Presbyterian  churches.  Presby- 
terians are  the  greatest  "sermon  tasters"  in  the  world. 
The  pulpit  is  the  glory  of  the  Church.  They  will  bear 
much  from  their  minister  if  only  he  fail  not  when  he 
stands  before  them  to  declare  the  oracles  of  God. 

Albert  Simpson's  testing  was  the  severest  that  could 
have  been  put  upon  a  boy.  During  his  first  Christmas 
holidays  he  was  asked  to  preach  in  Tilbury,  near  his 
home.  His  .father,  his  gifted,  emotional  mother,  who 
cannot  lift  her  eyes  to  her  boy's  face,  his  brothers,  his 
sister,  his  playmates,  his  neighbors  are  in  the  audience. 
There  may  be  a  trace  of  jealousy  in  the  pews,  but  intense 
interest  is  lacking  in  none.  Yesterday  he  was  Bert  Simp- 
son, their  fellow,  their  rival  in  friendly  contests  of  brain 
and  brawn.  Today  he  stands  high  above  them  in  the 
pulpit,  a  minister — no,  not  yet  a  minister — but  in  the 
minister's  place,  back  of  the  open  Bible  where  not  even 
his  godly  father  would  appear,  to  speak  to  them  as  a 
messenger  of  God.  Can  any  one  who  has  formed  a  part 
of  such  a  scene  ever  forget  it?  The  boy,  whose  voice 
was  to  thrill  five  continents,  did  not  fail.  Tense  ner- 
vousness in  pulpit  and  pew  soon  changed  to  tenser  interest 
in  the  message,  for  even  then  the  messenger  became 


"A  voice  of  one  crying — 
Prepare  ye  tlie  way  of  the  Lord, 
Make  his  paths  straight." 

If  any  vivid  imagination  pictures  his  friends  crowding 
around  him,  they  little  know  an  old-time  Presbyterian 
congregation.  They  had  subtler  ways  of  manifesting 
either  approval  or  disapproval.  Albert  Simpson  expected 
no  effusiveness,  and  one  of  the  marks  of  his  greatness 
was  that,  till  the  end,  he  maintained  the  spirit  of  his 
fathers  in  this  regard,  never  allowing  any  one  to  con- 
gratulate him  on  his  preaching.  In  the  Memorial  Service 
in  the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  New  York,  Rev.  Edward  H. 
Emett  told  that  a  short  time  before  he  had  linked  his 
arm  into  Dr.  Simpson's,  and  had  begun  to  tell  him  how 
much  his  preaching  had  inspired  his  own  ministry.  He 
was  quietly  but  quickly  interrupted  with  the  word,  "That 
is  all  very  well,  Emett,  but  tell  me  something  about  what 
Christ  has  done  for  you." 

His  success  in  the  home  church  was  repeated  in  others, 
though  his  boyish  appearance  sometimes  caused  embar- 
rassing situations.  On  one  occasion  he  was  following 
the  beadle,  who  was  carrying  the  Bible  into  the  pulpit, 
when  one  of  the  elders  stopped  him,  and  he  had  difficulty 
in  persuading  that  worthy  official  that  he  was  the  duly 
appointed  supply  for  the  day. 

One  of  his  college  friends,  Rev.  James  Hastie,  gives  us 
the  following  account  of  their  first  meeting. 

"One  summer  I  taught  a  rural  school  a  few  miles  from 
Sarnia,  Ontario.  The  Presbyterian  Church  was  vacant 
and  was  hearing  candidates.  On  a  certain  Sabbath  there 
was  no  supply,  but  unexpectedly  a  handsome  lad  entered 
the  church  and  conducted  the  service.  He  gave  his  name 
as  A.  B.  Simpson.    A  double  surprise  came  to  that  Scotch 

30  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

congregation,  surprise  to  see  a  lad  of  seventeen  years  in 
the  pulpit,  and  still  greater  surprise  to  hear  that  youth 
preach  sermons  which  in  content  would  do  credit  to  a 
professor  of  homiletics,  and  for  diction  and  delivery 
would  meet  the  demands  of  a  teacher  of  elocution.  Dur- 
ing dinner,  a  lady  from  a  church  some  distance  away 
insisted  that  he  repeat  in  the  afternoon  a  sermon  which 
she  had  heard  him  deliver  three  months  before.  Mr. 
Simpson  replied  that  he  had  not  used  it  since,  nor  had 
he  the  manuscript  with  him,  nor  any  notes,  and  therefore 
he  could  not  recall  that  sermon  with  any  satisfaction. 
When  she  still  insisted,  the  young  preacher  asked  his 
hostess  for  the  use  of  a  room.  In  less  than  half  an  hour 
he  came  out,  entered  the  pulpit,  and  without  a  word  of 
explanation  to  the  congregation  delivered  the  sermon 
asked  for,  which  was  fully  the  equal  of  the  one  given  in 
the  forenoon  in  exposition,  illustration,  searching  appli- 
cation, and  beauty  of  diction." 



KNOX  COLLEGE  is  now  situated  on  the  campus  of 
the  University  of  Toronto  occupying  one  of  the  fin- 
est seminary  buildings  on  the  continent.  It  was  opened 
in  1844  in  one  room  when  the  disruption  of  the  Church 
of  Scotland  resulted  in  a  similar  division  in  the  Canadian 
Church.  In  Mr.  Simpson's  day,  Elmsley  Villa,  formerly 
the  residence  of  Lord  Elgin,  Governor  of  Canada,  lo- 
cated where  Grosvenor  Street  Presbyterian  Church  now 
stands,  was  its  home. 

In  October,  1861,  Albert  B.  Simpson  entered  Knox 
College  as  a  student  for  the  ministry.  He  was  brought 
up  in  the  United  Presbyterian  Church  and  had  looked 
forward  to  attending  the  denominational  seminary  in 
Toronto,  but  in  that  year  it  was  absorbed  into  Knox  Col- 
lege when  the  Canadian  Presbyterian  Church  was  formed 
by  the  union  of  the  United  Presbyterian  with  the  Free 
Church,  He  had  studied  so  diligently  under  his  minis- 
terial tutors,  in  High  School,  and  during  the  time  he 
was  teaching  that,  though  he  was  only  seventeen  years 
old,  he  was  admitted  to  the  third  or  senior  year  of  the 
literary  course.  The  college  required  either  the  full  arts 
course  in  the  University  of  Toronto,  with  which  it  was 
the  first  seminary  to  affiliate,  or  three  years  of  Academic 
work  in  its  own  halls  as  a  prerequisite  to  the  three  years' 
course  in  Theology. 

The  college  staff,  though  not  a  large  body,  was  excel- 
lent.    The  head  of  the  Literary  Department  was   Pro- 

32  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

fcssor  George  Paxton  Young,  who  afterward  occupied 
the  Chair  of  Philosophy  in  Toronto  University,  a  man 
who  is  remembered  for  his  brilliant  scholarship,  his  ex- 
ceptional ability  as  a  teacher,  and  his  never-failing  devo- 
tion to  his  students.  The  Principal  of  the  Theological 
Department  was  Professor  Michael  Willis.  Dr.  Robert 
Burns,  one  of  the  great  figures  in  the  Church  of  that  day, 
was  Professor  of  Church  History  and  Christian  Evi- 
dences, while  Professor  William  Caven,  who  was  to  leave 
his  mark  on  Knox  College  by  nearly  half  a  century  of 
service,  was  lecturing  in  his  quietly  brilliant  way  in  the 
Department  of  Biblical  Literature  and  Exegesis.  These 
men  and  their  associates  were  real  educators,  untouched 
by  the  blight  of  rationalistic  criticism  which  has  fallen 
upon  many  theological  professors  of  our  day. 

Among  the  students  were  J.  Munroe  Gibson,  LL.D., 
who  became  the  most  outstanding  figure  in  the  Presby- 
terian pulpit  of  London,  England ;  Francis  M.  Patton, 
D.D.,  President  of  Princeton  University ;  James  W. 
Mitchell,  D.D.,  Henry  Gracey,  D.D.,  James  Hastie,  John 
Becket,  George  Grant,  M.A.,  and  Robert  Knowles,  all 
of  whom  have  survived  Mr.  Simpson,  though  none  of 
them  are  in  active  service ;  R.  N.  Grant,  D.D.,  known  in 
literary  circles  as  Knoxonian ;  Mungo  Eraser,  D.D.,  one 
of  Mr.  Simpson's  successors  in  Knox  Church,  Hamilton ; 
and  Robert  Warden,  D.D.,  for  many  years  Treasurer  of 
the  Presbyterian  Church  in  Canada. 

Dr.  J.  W.  Mitchell,  who  has  followed  Mr.  Simpson's 
career  sympathetically,  has  this  to  say  of  his  college  days : 
"My  earliest  recollections  of  Dr.  Simpson  go  back  to  the 
early  sixties  when  he  came  up  to  Knox.  Your  photo- 
gravure gives  a  fair  representation  of  him  as  he  then 
appeared,  fresh  from  his  father's  farm  and  his  country 


A.  B    Simpson  in  College  Years. 


school  teaching,  giving  little  intimation  of  the  mighty 
man  of  God  that  he  was  to  become  in  later  years.  He 
did  not  take  a  full  course  at  the  University.  He  had 
popular  gifts  of  a  high  order,  and  I  opine  was  eager  to 
get  into  the  field  where  he  could  exercise  them,  and  v/as 
sure  he  would  forge  his  way  to  the  front,  I  was  his 
senior,  being  graduated  in  1863.  In  that  summer,  after 
Simpson's  first  year  in  theology,  he  was  assigned  to  do 
some  work  as  a  student  supply,  I  had  recently  been 
licensed  and  contemplated  postgraduate  work  in  Edin- 
burgh after  the  summer's  work  in  the  field.  During  part 
of  the  time  we  alternated.  The  field  was  Welland,  Crow- 
land,  and  Port  Colborne,  I  did  my  work  faithfully  and 
acceptably,  but  was  quite  thrown  into  the  shade  by  my 
junior,  for  already  his  pulpit  gifts  were  notable," 

Another  of  his  classmates,  Rev,  James  Hastie,  thus 
describes  him:  "He  was  a  most  attractive  young  man — 
his  body  lithe,  active,  graceful;  his  countenance  beaming 
with  kindness,  friendship,  generosity;  his  voice  rich, 
musical,  well  controlled.  Often,  no  doubt,  flattery  was 
showered  upon  him,  and  strong  compHments  were  paid 
by  admirers  and  relatives,  all  of  which  would  tend  to 
develop  vanity  and  self-importance;  but  I  never  saw  a 
trace  of  these  traits,  which  are  so  common  in  brilliant 
young  men,  in  young  Mr.  Simpson,  'Meek  and  lowly 
in  heart'  after  the  pattern  of  his  divine  Master  was  his 
characteristic  then  and  subsequently." 

Rev.  J.  Becket,  who  was  also  in  college  with  him,  writes 
that  "he  was  a  favorite  with  the  students  and  in  urgent 
request  as  a  preacher  of  the  Gospel."  A  friend  who  knew 
him  intimately  says  that  he  was  never  a  slavish  student, 
and  displayed  in  his  college  days  the  same  ability  to  grasp 
a  theme  quickly  and,  if  necessary,  to  restate  it  in  an 

34  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

almost  offhand  fashion  which  characterized  him  in  his 
later  years. 

Though  he  entered  the  third  or  final  year  in  the  Aca- 
demic course,  he  proved  his  ability  and  scholarship  during 
that  first  year  in  college  by  winning  the  George  Buchanan 
Scholarship  of  $120.00  in  a  special  competitive  examina- 
tion in  the  Classics.  His  aptitude  in  doctrinal  discussion 
appeared  when  the  next  year  he  received  the  John  Knox 
Bursary  prize  for  an  essay  on  "Infant  Baptism."  One 
of  his  life  long  characteristics  was  a  love  for  history. 
It  is  said  that  he  and  his  brother  had  read  Gibbon's  Rise 
and  Fall  of  the  Roman  Empire  while  mere  children. 
Little  wonder,  therefore,  that  he  won  the  Prince  of  Wales 
prize  for  an  essay  on  "The  Preparation  of  the  World 
for  the  Appearing  of  the  Saviour  and  the  Setting  Up  of 
His  Kingdom."  This  prize,  open  to  first  and  second  year 
students  in  Theology,  was  tenable  for  two  years. 

The  scholarships  and  prizes  which  he  won  were  of  great 
financial  assistance.  The  modest  remuneration  given  for 
student  supply  in  the  summer  added  to  the  little  store. 
He  had  to  fall  back  on  tutoring  in  the  winter.  Even  then 
he  was  sometimes  in  sore  straits.  Facing  an  audience  in 
Grosvenor  Street  Church  in  Toronto  in  1896,  where  many 
students  were  gathered,  he  related  one  of  these  expe- 
riences. "Many  a  time  I  found  myself  without  a  penny. 
I  have  thrown  myself  down  on  the  college  lawn,  not  far 
from  where  I  stand,  in  the  darkness  of  the  night  and 
deeper  darkness  of  soul,  crying  to  God  for  money  to  pay 
my  board  bill.  And,  fellow  students,  He  did  not  fail 
me  then,  nor  has  He  failed  me  yet.  Neither  will  He  fail 
you  if  you  will  dare  to  trust  Him."  Yet  even  in  such 
circumstances,  that  almost  reckless  generosity  which  was 
always  evident  in  him  would  manifest  itself.     Not  long 


since  his  daughter  recalled  that  her  father  had  once  con- 
fided to  her  that  on  one  occasion  when  he  had  received 
the  then  munificent  sum  of  ten  dollars  as  a  fee  for  his 
Sunday  services,  he  at  once  proceeded  to  spend  it  for 
a  present  for  his  sweetheart. 

A  few  years  ago,  when  called  upon  to  address  the 
students  of  Toronto  University,  he  captivated  his  au- 
dience by  one  or  two  reminiscences  of  his  college  days. 
Then,  turning  to  the  young  ladies,  he  remarked  that  their 
presence  made  him  feel  quite  at  home,  for  fifty  years 
before  he  had  left  his  heart  at  the  door  of  a  Toronto 
residence  as  it  was  opened  by  the  fair  daughter  of  the 

That  was  an  eventful  day.  Dr.  Jennings,  whose  church 
the  Simpson  brothers  attended,  had  become  interested  in 
them,  and  one  day  he  said  to  his  leading  elder,  Mr.  John 
Henry,  "You  have  a  room  that  you  are  not  using,  and 
there  are  two  students  in  Knox  who  need  it.  Will  you 
not  ask  them  to  call  upon  you  and  see  what  you  think 
of  them?"  It  was  this  invitation  that  brought  Albert 
Simpson  to  the  door  of  Mr.  Henry's  home  and  face  to 
face  with  his  eldest  daughter,  Margaret.  Quite  uncon- 
scious that  the  boy  already  had  been  sorely  wounded  by 
Cupid's  arrow,  the  father  and  mother  graciously  invited 
him  and  his  brother  to  accept  their  hospitality,  with  the 
inevitable  result  that  before  the  winter  was  over  the  fate 
of  two  lives  was  sealed.  Margaret  Henry  as  a  girl  had 
all  the  quiet  dignity  and  resourcefulness  that  she  has 
shown  through  a  long  and  eventful  life  as  the  wife  and 
for  fifty  years  the  partaker  of  the  joys  and  sorrows  of 
one  of  the  great  leaders  of  our  time. 

Dr.  Simpson  has  left  us  the  following  personal  remin- 
iscences of  his  life  in  college. 

36  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

"It  would  be  of  little  interest  to  recite  the  ordinary 
experience  of  a  college  student,  and  it  is  only  necessary 
to  sketch  a  few  of  the  special  pictures  that  come  back  to 
memory  from  these  early  years.  My  deep  religious  im- 
pressions still  continued,  and  they  kept  me  from  the 
temptations  of  city  life.  But  I  was  thrown  with  a  room- 
mate in  the  first  year  of  my  college  course,  whose  in- 
fluence over  my  heart  was  most  disastrous.  He  was  a 
much  older  man,  and,  although  a  theological  student  and 
a  very  bright  and  attractive  fellow,  was  a  man  of  con- 
vivial tastes  and  habits.  It  was  his  favorite  custom  once 
or  twice  a  week  to  have  what  he  called  an  oyster  supper 
in  our  room,  and  to  invite  one  or  two  of  his  friends,  who 
happened  to  be  medical  students,  and  whose  habits  were 
worse  than  his.  On  these  occasions  both  beer  and  whiskey 
would  be  brought  in,  and  the  orgy  would  go  on  until  very 
late  at  night  with  laughter  and  song  and  story  and  many 
a  jest  that  was  neither  pure  nor  reverent.  I  had  not 
firmness  nor  experience  sufficient  to  suppress  these  enter- 
tainments, and  I  was  compelled  to  be  a  witness,  in  some 
measure  a  partaker,  although  the  coarse  amusement  was 
always  distasteful  to  all  my  feelings.  But  gradually  these 
influences  had  a  benumbing  effect  upon  my  spiritual  life. 
My  room-mate  was  cynical  and  utterly  unspiritual.  At 
the  same  time  he  had  a  fine  literary  taste  and  was  fond 
of  poetry,  which  he  was  always  reading  or  repeating. 
There  was  a  certain  attraction  about  him,  but  altogether 
his  influence  over  me  was  bad. 

"I  did  not  cease  to  pray  or  to  walk  in  some  measure 
with  God,  but  the  sweetness  and  preciousness  of  my  early 
piety  withered.  I  am  sorry  to  say  that  I  did  not  fully 
recover  my  lost  blessing  until  I  had  been  a  minister  of 


the  Gospel  for  more  than  ten  years.*  My  religious  life 
was  chiefly  that  of  duty,  with  little  joy  or  fellowship.  In 
a  word,  my  heart  was  unsanctified,  and  I  had  not  yet 
learned  the  secret  of  the  indwelling  Christ  and  the  bap- 
tism of  the  Holy  Ghost. 

"At  the  same  time  there  must  have  been  a  strong  cur- 
rent of  faith  and  a  real  habit  of  prayer  in  my  college  life, 
for  God  did  many  things  for  me  which  were  directly 
supernatural  and  to  me  at  the  time  very  wonderful.  There 
was  a  system  of  college  scholarships,  or  bursaries,  con- 
sisting of  considerable  amounts  of  money,  which  were 
given  to  the  successful  student  in  competitive  examina- 
tions. I  set  my  heart  on  winning  some  of  these  scholar- 
ships, not  merely  for  the  honor,  but  for  the  pecuniary 
value,  which  would  be  about  sufficient  to  meet  what  was 
lacking  in  my  living  expenses.  One  of  them  required 
the  writing  of  an  essay  on  the  subject  of  baptism,  and 
after  much  hard  study,  and,  I  am  glad  to  say,  very  much 
prayer,  I  wrote  an  essay  proving  to  my  own  satisfaction 
that  children  ought  to  be  baptized  and  that  baptism  should 
be  by  sprinkling  and  not  by  immersion.  Through  God's 
great  goodness  I  won  the  prize,  but  in  later  years  I  had 
to  take  back  all  the  arguments  and  doctrinal  opinions 
which  I  so  stoutly  maintained  in  my  youthful  wisdom. 

"My  next  venture  was  for  a  much  larger  prize,  amount- 
ing to  $120.00,  for  which  an  essay  was  to  be  written  on 
the  difficult  historical  and  philosophical  subject,  'The 
Preparation  of  the  World  for  the  First  Coming  of  Christ 
and  the  Setting  Up  of  His  Kingdom.'  While  I  studied 
hard  and  long  for  the  materials  of  this  paper,  I  deferred 
the  final  composition  till  the  very  last  moment.     I  am 

♦See  renewal  of  Covenant,  page  212 

38  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

afraid  that  my  mind  has  always  had  a  habit  of  working 
in  this  way,  namely,  of  leaving  its  supreme  efforts  until 
the  cumulative  force  of  constant  thought  has  crystallized 
the  subject  into  the  most  intense  form.  So  I  found  my- 
self within  two  days  of  the  moment  for  giving  in  the 
papers  and  the  entire  article  yet  to  be  written  out  in  its 
final  form  from  the  crude  first  copy  which  had  been 

"The  task  proved  to  be  a  longer  and  harder  one  than 
I  dreamed ;  and  when  the  last  day  had  ended,  and  the 
paper  had  to  be  given  in  by  nine  o'clock  the  following 
morning,  there  was  still  seven  or  eight  hours'  work  to  be 
done.  Of  course  the  night  that  followed  was  sleepless. 
Toiling  at  my  desk,  and  literally  tearing  along  like  a 
race  horse  for  the  goal,  I  wrote  until  my  hand  grew  almost 
paralyzed,  and  I  had  to  get  another  to  write  for  me  while 
I  dictated.  But  soon  my  brain  began  to  fail  me,  and  I 
found  myself  literally  falling  asleep  in  my  chair.  Then 
for  the  first  and  last  time  in  my  life  I  sent  out  to  a  drug 
store  for  something  that  would  keep  me  awake  for  six  or 
seven  hours  at  any  cost,  and  my  brain  was  held  to  its  tre- 
mendous task,  till  as  the  light  broke  on  the  winter  morn- 
ing that  followed,  the  last  sentences  were  finished,  the 
paper  folded  and  sealed  and  sent  by  a  special  messenger  to 
my  professor  while  I  threw  myself  on  my  bed  and  slept 
as  if  I  should  never  wake. 

"Some  weeks  passed  during  which  I  prayed  much  for 
the  success  of  my  strenuously  prepared  paper.  I  found 
there  were  about  a  dozen  competitors,  some  of  whom 
were  students  in  a  higher  year.  There  seemed  little  hope 
of  my  success,  but  something  told  me  that  God  was 
going  to  see  me  through.  At  length  the  morning  came 
when  the  name  of  the  successful  candidate  was  to  be 


announced.  I  was  so  excited  that  I  slipped  away  to  a 
quiet  place  in  the  college  yard  where  I  threw  myself  on 
my  knees  and  had  the  matter  out  with  God.  Before  I 
rose,  I  dared  to  believe  that  God  had  heard  my  prayer 
and  had  given  me  the  prize  which  was  so  essential  to  the 
continuance  of  my  study.  Then  I  returned  to  the  class 
room  and  sat  down  in  my  place.  I  instantly  noticed 
that  every  eye  was  turned  on  me  with  a  strange  expression 
which  I  could  not  understand.  At  the  close  of  the  lecture 
my  professor  called  me  to  his  room  and  congratulated 
me  on  my  success,  and  I  learned  for  the  first  time  that 
while  I  was  out  praying  in  the  yard,  he  had  told  the  class 
that  the  prize  had  come  to  me.  I  mention  this  instance 
especially  to  show  how  all  through  my  life  God  has  taught 
me,  or  at  least  has  been  trying  to  make  me  understand, 
that  before  any  great  blessing  could  come  to  me  I  must 
first  believe  for  it  in  blind  and  naked  faith.  I  am  quite 
sure  that  the  blessing  of  believing  for  that  prize  was 
more  to  me  than  its  great  pecuniary  value. 

"During  the  summer  vacations,  as  I  was  a  theological 
student,  I  was  sent  out  to  preach  in  mission  churches 
and  stations.  In  this  way  I  also  earned  a  little  money, 
besides  gaining  a  much  more  valuable  experience  in  prac- 
tical work.  But  I  remember  well  the  look  of  surprise 
with  which  the  grave  men  of  the  congregations  where  I 
preached  would  gaze  at  me  as  I  entered  the  pulpit.  I 
was  extremely  young  and  looked  so  much  younger  than 
I  really  was,  that  I  do  not  wonder  now  that  they  looked 
aghast  at  the  lad  who  was  presuming  to  preach  to  them 
from  the  high  pulpit  where  he  stood  in  fear  and  trembling. 

"The  greatest  trial  of  all  these  days  was  my  preaching 
for  the  first  time  in  the  church  in  which  I  had  been 
brought  up  and  in  the  presence  of  my  father  and  mother. 

40  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

In  some  way  the  Lord  helped  me  to  get  through,  but  I 
never  once  dared  to  meet  their  eyes.  In  those  days 
preaching  was  an  awful  business,  for  we  knew  nothing 
of  trusting  the  Lord  for  utterance.  The  manuscript  was 
written  in  full,  and  the  preacher  committed  it  to  memory 
and  recited  it  verbatim.  On  this  occasion  I  walked  the 
woods  for  days  beforehand,  repeating  to  the  trees  and 
squirrels  the  periods  and  paragraphs  which  I  had  so 
carefully   composed." 


WHEN  I  was  a  young  minister  of  twenty-one,  and 
just  leaving  my  theological  seminary,  I  had  the 
choice  of  two  fields  of  labor;  one  an  extremely  easy  one, 
in  a  delightful  town,  with  a  refined,  afifectionate,  and 
prosperous  church,  just  large  enough  to  be  an  ideal  field 
for  one  who  wished  to  spend  a  few  years  in  quiet  prep- 
aration for  future  usefulness ;  the  other,  a  large,  absorb- 
ing city  church,  with  many  hundreds  of  members  and 
overwhelming  and  heavy  burdens,  which  were  sure  to 
demand  the  utmost  possible  care,  labor  and  responsibility. 
All  my  friends,  teachers  and  counsellors  advised  me  to 
take  the  easier  place.  But  an  impulse,  which  I  now  be- 
lieve to  have  been,  at  least  indirectly,  from  God,  even 
though  there  must  have  been  some  human  ambition  in 
it,  led  me  to  feel  that  if  I  took  the  easier  place,  I  should 
probably  rise  to  meet  it  and  no  more;  and  if  I  took  the 
harder,  I  should  not  rest  short  of  all  its  requirements. 
I  found  it  even  so.  My  early  ministry  was  developed,  and 
the  habit  of  venturing  on  difficult  undertakings  was  largely 
established,  by  the  grace  of  God,  through  the  necessities  of 
this  difficult  position."  Such  are  Mr.  Simpson's  own 
reflections  on  his  entry  into  pastoral  work. 

Mr.  Simpson  graduated  from  Knox  College  in  April, 
1865.  In  June  the  Synod  authorized  the  Presbytery  of 
Toronto  to  take  him  and  several  other  candidates  on 
public  probationary  trial  for  license. 

It  may  surprise  young  preachers  of  our  day  to  know 

42  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

that  the  Minutes  show  that  this  old-time  Presbytery  sub- 
jected these  college  graduates  to  a  searching  examina- 
tion in  Biblical  Hebrew  and  Greek,  Theology,  Church 
History,  and  Church  Government,  as  well  as  personal 
religion.  Moreover  Mr.  Simpson's  examination  included 
a  discourse  on  II  Timothy  i  :io,  read  before  the  Presby- 
tery, and  the  following  papers  submitted  for  criticism : 
a  Latin  thesis,  an  filius  dei  ah  etcrno  sit  genitis  a  Pater; 
an  excursus  on  Romans  7 ;  a  popular  sermon  on  Ro- 
mans 1:16,  and  a  lecture  on  Matthew  4:1-11.  After 
this  procedure  the  candidates  were  licensed  as  ministers 
of  the  Canada  Presbyterian  Church. 

But  the  end  was  not  yet.  Mr.  Simpson  had  been  urged 
by  the  church  in  Dundas,  which  he  had  supplied  after 
graduation,  to  become  its  pastor.  This  he  declined.  On 
August  15th  a  call  was  presented  to  him  through  the  Pres- 
bytery to  Knox  Church,  Hamilton.  Upon  his  acceptance 
of  it,  he  was  ordered  to  appear  in  two  weeks  with  an  ar- 
ray of  sermons  and  papers  similar  to  those  which  he  had 
presented  for  license,  but  he  was  excused  from  the 
scholastic  examination  which  had  been  given  by  the  Pres- 
bytery of  Toronto.  September  12,  1865,  was  set  as  the 
day  for  his  ordination  and  induction. 

That  was  a  momentous  week  in  the  life  of  A.  B. 
Simpson.  On  Sunday,  September  11,  he  preached  his 
first  sermon  as  the  accepted  pastor  of  Knox  Church. 
On  Monday,  at  two  P.  M.,  the  Presbytery  met  in  Knox 
Church  for  his  ordination.  Rev.  R.  N.  Grant,  a  class- 
mate, preached;  Dr.  Ormiston  addressed  the  minister; 
Mr.  Stark  addressed  the  congregation ;  and  the  Modera- 
tor, Dr.  Inglis,  offered  the  ordination  prayer  as  he  was 
set  apart  to  the  ministry  by  the  laying  on  of  the  hands 
of  the  Presbytery.     On  Tuesday  he  was  married  in  To- 


ronto  to  Margaret  Henry,  daughter  of  John  Henry,  by 
their  pastor,  Dr.  Jennings,  and  Rev.  William  Gregg,  of 
Cooke's  Church,  afterwards  Professor  of  Church  History 
in  Knox  College.  The  honeymoon  was  spent  in  a  trip 
down  the  St.  Lawrence,  and  a  few  days  later  a  hearty 
welcome  to  the  Manse  was  given  the  young  pastor  and 
his   bride. 

Knox  Church  had  been  organized  after  the  disruption 
in  1844  when  the  Free  Church  element  left  St.  Andrews, 
which  remained  in  the  "Auld  Kirk."  A  handsome  stone 
edifice,  with  a  seating  capacity  of  1200,  was  erected  in 
1846.  Its  first  pastor,  Mr.  Gale,  accepted  a  professorship 
in  Knox  College,  as  did  also  one  of  his  successors.  Rev. 
G.  Paxton  Young.  Mr,  Simpson's  immediate  predeces- 
sor was  Rev.  Robert  Irving,  D.D.,  a  brilliant  preacher. 
There  were  men  of  great  ability  in  the  neighboring  pul- 
pits, including  Dr.  Ormiston,  who  was  called  a  little  later 
to  New  York  City;  Dr.  David  Inglis,  afterward  profes- 
sor in  Knox  College  and  later  a  pastor  in  Brooklyn,  New 
York,  and  Dr.  John  Potts,  who  became  the  greatest 
leader  in  the  Methodist  Church  of  Canada. 

To  maintain  the  traditions  of  such  a  pulpit  was  no 
easy  matter  for  a  young  man  of  twenty-one,  yet  the 
Hamilton  Spectator  only  voiced  the  judgment  of  all  who 
knew  this  young  pastor  when,  in  reviewing  the  history  of 
Knox  Church,  it  stated  that  "He  was  second  to  none 
in  point  of  eloquence  and  ability  and  success  in  his  min- 
istry." Dr.  William  T.  McMullen,  of  Woodstock,  On- 
tario, one  of  the  few  now  living  who  graduated  from 
Knox  College  before  Mr.  Simpson  entered,  sees  him  in 
the  larger  relation  in  the  Canadian  Church.  "I  was  in- 
timately acquainted  with  Rev.  A.  B.  Simpson,  D.D.,  dur- 
ing his  pastorate  in  Knox  Church,  Hamilton,  which  I 

44  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

judge  must  be  about  fifty  years  ago.  He  stood  out  at 
that  time  as  one  of  the  most  briUiant  young  ministers 
of  our  Church  in  Canada.  He  was  endowed  with  intel- 
lect of  a  very  high  order,  and  he  preached  the  Gospel  of 
the  great  salvation  with  a  gracefulness  of  manner,  a  fer- 
vor, and  a  power  exceedingly  impressive."  His  great 
compatriot,  Dr.  R.  P.  Mackay,  Secretary  of  the  Board 
of  Foreign  Missions  of  the  Presbyterian  Church  of  Can- 
ada, gives  him  a  higher  tribute.  "I  can  recall  when  I 
began  my  ministry,  a  young  man  in  Hamilton  who  was 
spoken  of  as  'the  eloquent  young  preacher.'  He  went 
to  New  York,  and  afterwards  I  only  knew  him  by  re- 
ports. Any  man  who  has  been  able  to  accomplish  so 
much  must  have  been  endowed  with  special  gifts.  The 
quality  of  his  work  is  the  best  testimony  as  to  the  depth 
of  his  spiritual  life.  Such  men  do  not  belong  to  any  one 
section,  but  are  the  gift  of  God  to  the  Church  of  Christ." 

In  those  days  few  Presbyterian  ministers  engaged  in 
special  evangelistic  campaigns,  however  earnest  they 
might  be  as  preachers  of  the  Gospel.  Dr.  Wardrobe,  of 
Guelph,  Ontario,  was  one  of  the  exceptions.  An  incident 
which  he  recalled  in  his  later  years  is  illuminating.  "I 
had  just  returned  to  Ontario  from  a  pastorate  in  the 
Maritime  provinces,  and,  being  in  Hamilton  for  a  day,  I 
decided  to  call  upon  a  young  preacher  there  and  ask  him, 
as  the  most  likely  man  I  could  think  of,  to  come  and 
assist  me  in  a  series  of  revival  meetings.  With  much 
dignity  he  replied,  'I  believe  in  the  regular  work  of  the 
ministry.'  What  was  my  surprise,  therefore,  to  learn 
not  many  years  later  that  my  young  friend  Simpson  had 
left  the  'regular  work  of  the  ministry'  to  give  himself 
to  the  evangelization  of  the  neglected  masses  of  the 
American  metropolis." 


No  greater  evidence  of  success  could  be  given  than 
the  place  the  minister  won  in  the  lives  of  individuals  and 
in  the  memory  of  the  congregation.  In  the  Memorial 
Service  in  the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  New  York,  Dr.  Ed- 
ward B.  Shaw,  of  Monroe,  N.  Y.,  told  of  the  lasting  im- 
pression made  upon  him  as  a  little  boy  in  Hamilton,  when, 
at  the  clos'e  of  the  first  sermon  he  ever  heard  him  preach, 
Dr.  Simpson  laid  his  hand  in  tender  blessing  on  his  head. 
He  added  that  his  mother  so  esteemed  the  young  minis- 
ter that  she  still  inquires,  'Have  you  seen  my  pastor 
lately  ?'  When  I  ask  which  pastor  she  means,  her  reply  is 
T  have  only  one  pastor'." 

Pastoral  visitation  was  his  delight,  and  so  ardently 
did  he  pursue  this  and  other  service  that  we  find  the 
following  minute  under  date  of  July  13,  1869.  "That 
whereas  our  beloved  pastor  is  suffering  in  health  from 
the  effects  of  close  application  to  his  ministerial  duties, 
and  feeling  that  cessation  from  work  and  change  of 
scene  may,  by  the  divine  blessing,  prove  beneficial  to 
him,  the  Session  urgently  requests  him  to  rest  for  a 
period  of  two  months  and  during  that  period  to  seek 
such  scenes  as  may  refresh  his  mind  and  be  conducive  to 
the  restoration  of  his  health."  Mr.  Simpson  agreed  to 
accept  only  one  month  of  holiday. 

Two  years  later  he  was  granted  four  months'  leave 
of  absence  for  a  visit  to  Europe,  a  trip  he  enjoyed  to  the 
full.  His  lecture  on  his  observations  abroad  was  bril- 
liant and  popular,  but  contrasts  strangely  with  his  ac- 
counts of  his  tours  after  the  great  awakening  came  into 
his  life. 

There  are  in  it  two  passages  which  were  almost  pro- 
phetic of  his  later  life.  Here  is  one.  "And  here  let  us 
tread  softly — we  enter  John  Knox's  house;  we  gaze  on 

46  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

the  interior  as  it  was  in  the  sixteenth  century ;  we  sit  in 
his  veritable  study  and  very  chair;  and  we  inhale  a  fresh 
breath  of  his  heroic  spirit,  so  much  needed  in  these  weak 
times."  How  deeply  the  young  Canadian  preacher  was 
to  drink  of  that  spirit  he  little  dreamed  that  day. 

He  seemed  to  be  moved  even  more  deeply  by  his  visit 
to  the  tomb  of  Sir  Walter  Scott.  All  of  his  own  elo- 
quence was  fired  by  the  memory  of  this  noble  Scotchman. 
Scott's  struggle  to  meet  enormous  financial  losses  with 
his  pen  had  caught  the  imagination  and  moved  the  heart 
that  was  later  to  pour  itself  out  in  books  of  more  last- 
ing value  than  Wavcrley  and  Marmion.  He  quotes :  "I 
will  dig  in  the  mine  of  my  imaginations  for  diamonds,  or 
what  may  sell  for  diamonds,  to  meet  all  my  engagements." 
What  could  better  portray  the  closing  days  of  his  own 
life  than  this  tender  picture  he  gives  us  of  Scott?  "But, 
alas,  nature  sank  in  the  unequal  struggle,  and  the  pro- 
ductions which  the  world  enjoys  today  are  the  life-blood 
of  a  brave  man's  heart.  His  sun  was  largest  at  its  setting ; 
and  though  it  went  down  among  many  clouds,  it  was  a 
glorious  sunset  for  a  glorious  soul,  and  sank,  we  trust, 
to  shine  in  other  climes  in  cloudless  light." 

A  visitor  to  the  Manse  on  any  Monday  morning  would 
have  found  the  pastor  occupied  in  the  study  with  a  group 
of  fellow  ministers.  It  was  "blue  Monday"  in  more 
senses  than  one,  for  some  of  them  were  addicted  to  the 
use  of  the  weed.  Sermons  were  discussed,  and  that 
facility  for  formulating  outlines  which  amazed  Dr.  Simp- 
son's students  in  later  years  was  called  into  play  in  criti- 
cism of  the  past  and  prospective  efforts  of  his  friends. 

Children's  voices  would  be  heard  ringing  through  the 
house,  for  three  sturdy  boys  and  one  little  daughter  came 
to  bless  their  Canadian  home.     The  firstborn  was  Albert 


Henry,  who  was  truly  converted  to  God  at  an  early  age, 
but  fell  under  temptation  in  New  York  City.  His  parents' 
prayers  finally  prevailed,  and  his  last  days  were  spent  in 
devotedly  assisting  in  his  father's  business  affairs.  "Dur- 
ing his  last  illness,  which  continued  over  a  year,  the  work 
of  grace  in  his  heart  and  life  was  most  deeply  marked  and 
beautifully  manifest.  The  crucible  of  suffering  was 
used  by  the  Heavenly  Refiner  to  purify,  soften,  and 
sweeten  his  spirit,  and  at  last  the  very  light  of  heaven 
shone  through  the  pale  and  suffering  face  and  lighted 
up  the  crumbling  temple  with  the  glory  of  the  life  be- 
yond." He  entered  into  rest  in  the  thirtieth  year  of  his 

The  second  child,  Melville  Jennings,  was  taken  ser- 
iously ill  with  membraneous  croup  when  only  three  and 
one-half  years  old  while  Mrs.  Simpson  was  mourning 
the  loss  of  her  father  in  the  old  family  home  in  Toronto. 
As  his  father  carried  him  in  his  arms,  just  before  his  de- 
parture, he  said,  "Take  me  to  Mamma,"  and  when  his 
mother  appeared,  he  repeated  to  them  the  verse  that  she 
had  taught  him,  "Abide  in  me  and  I  in  you."  Mrs.  Simp- 
son says  that  this  was  the  first  message  that  ever  sank 
deeply  into  her  heart  and  that  it  prepared  the  way  for 
the  experience  into  which  she  entered  years  afterward. 

The  third  boy,  James  Gordon  Hamilton,  was  born  on 
the  31st  of  August,  1870.  Of  him  his  father  wrote:  "In 
his  early  boyhood  he  gave  his  heart  to  the  Lord  and 
passed  through  a  very  distinct  religious  experience.  In 
later  years  the  temptations  of  city  life  frequently  over- 
came him,  and  at  times  he  wandered  far  from  God.  But 
it  is  a  great  comfort  to  his  bereaved  family  and  will  be 
a  source  of  joy  to  all  his  friends  to  know  that  in  the  last 
years  of  his  life  he  was  brought  back  by  a  very  clear  reli- 

48  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

gious  experience  to  his  early  faith,  and  after  much  suf- 
fering, borne  with  Christian  patience,  he  entered  into 
rest  at  the  age  of  thirty-seven  with  unclouded  confidence 
in  the  Saviour  he  had  learned  so  tenderly  to  love  and 

The  fourth  child,  Mabel,  was  also  born  in  Hamilton. 
On  Feb.  ii,  1891,  she  was  united  in  marriage  to  Mr. 
Hugh  S.  Brennen,  a  prominent  business  man  of  Hamil- 
ton, and  a  member  of  Knox  Church.  Both  Mr.  and  Mrs. 
Brennen  were  devoted  Christians,  and  their  home  life 
was  ideal.  Mr.  Brennen  was  called  home  suddenly  in 
1912,  leaving  his  wife  and  two  daughters  to  prove  the 
all-sufficiency  of  the  grace  of  our  Lord  and  Saviour, 
Jesus  Christ. 

The  family  circle  was  enlarged  by  the  birth  of  another 
daughter,  Margaret  May,  in  Louisville,  and  of  the  young- 
est boy,  Howard  Home,  in  New  York  City. 

In  1894,  when  the  congregation  of  Knox  Church  opened 
their  Sunday  School  building,  one  of  the  finest  at  that 
time  in  Canada,  it  happened  to  be  the  twenty-ninth  an- 
niversary of  Dr.  Simpson's  ordination,  and  he  was  asked 
to  dedicate  the  building  and  to  deliver  several  other  ad- 
dresses. The  church  could  not  hold  the  crowds  that 
thronged  to  hear  him.  He  made  this  reference  to  the 
occasion  in  The  Alliatice  Weekly:  "It  was  a  most  precious 
token  of  our  Father's  love,  after  a  generation  of  service, 
tliat  we  should  be  able  to  come  back  to  our  earliest 
friends,  and  find  their  hearts  open,  not  only  to  us,  but  to 
all  the  truth  we  brought  them  and,  indeed,  longing  for  a 
deeper  fullness  of  the  Holy  Spirit  for  their  own  life 
and  work." 

On  September  12th,  1905,  the  fortieth  anniversary  of 


his  ordination,  he  revisited  his  first  flock  and  was  moved 
to  write  the  following  ordination  hymn : 

"Ordain  me  to  Thy  service,  Lord; 

Baptize  me  with  Thy  power  divine, 
And  help  me  for  my  future  days 
To  make  my  will  entirely  Thine. 

"For  twice  a  score  of  years  Thy  hand 
Has  led  Thy  child  along  the  way ; 
Oh,  how  Thy  patient  love  has  borne ! 
Oh,  how  Thy  grace  has  crowned   each   day ! 

"And  if  Thy  mercy  yet  can  trust 
A  feeble  worm  to  serve  Thee  still. 
Ordain    Thy   child   anew    this    day 
To  better  know  and  do  Thy  will. 

"Correct  my  thoughts  and  let  my  life 

Speak  louder  than  the  words  I  say; 
And  give  to  me  this  joy  supreme 
To  know  I  please  my  Lord  alway. 

"Give  me  the  very  mind  of  Christ; 

Teach    me    to    pray    with   power    divine ; 
Baptize  my  lips  with  heavenly  fire, 
And  let  my  messages  be  Thine. 

"And  may  the  years  Thou  still   mayest  give 
Exalt  my  Lord  and  make  Him  known. 
Till  every  land   shall  hear  His  Word 
And   He  can   come   to  claim   His   own." 

The  most  memorable  visit  was  ten  years  later  when 
he  and  Mrs.  Simpson  were  asked  to  celebrate  their  Jubi- 
lee with  this  beloved  church  which  still  delighted  to  honor 
him,  though  for  thirty-five  years  he  had  not  been  in  the 
Presbyterian  ministry.  He  preached  with  unusual  fer- 
vency, taking  for  the  morning  sermon  the  text  used  for 

50  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

his  inaugural  discourse  fifty  years  before.  In  the  even- 
ing he  gave  a  clear  statement  of  the  truth  and  experience 
into  which  God  had  led  him.  On  Monday  a  reception 
was  given  to  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Simpson,  and  the  address 
which  he  then  delivered  showed  that  during  his  forty 
years'  absence  he  had  neither  lost  his  love  for  Canada 
nor  his  facility  as  a  lecturer. 

Church  Minutes  are  usually  dry  reading,  but  Knox 
Church  Session  Minutes  throw  some  strong  sidelights 
on  the  results  of  his  ministry.  A  great  advance  was 
made  in  the  prayer  life  of  the  congregation  by  the  institu- 
tion of  a  social  weekly  prayer  meeting  in  each  elder's 
district,  and  later  by  establishing  a  united  meeting  for 
prayer  at  the  close  of  the  Wednesday  evening  lecture. 
Thq  Session  also  voted  to  discountenance  the  custom  of 
holding  funerals  on  the  Sabbath.  They  departed  so  far 
from  tradition  as  to  grant  the  Sunday  School  permission 
to  install  a  melodeon.  Not  the  least  interesting  item  is 
the  resignation  of  an  elder  under  discipline  for  intoxica- 

A  minute  passed  in  response  to  questions  from  the 
General  Assembly  reveal  how  much  progress  has  since 
been  made  in  missionary  interest.  The  Session  resolved : 
"That  the  missionary  revenue  of  the  church  may  be 
increased  by  the  formation  and  vigorous  operation  of 
Missionary  Associations  in  all  the  congregations  of  the 
Church,  by  the  frequent  diffusion  of  missionary  intelli- 
gence, and  by  the  establishment  and  successful  working 
of  a  bona  fide  Foreign  Mission  in  some  heathen  land, 
and  we  recommend  China  as  at  the  present  time  the  most 
promising  opening  for  a  new  missionary  enterprise." 

The  results  of  the  nine  years  of  ministry  in  Hamilton 
were  extraordinary.     No  less  than  750  members  were 

A.  B.  Simpson  During  Hamilton  Pastorate. 





received  into  church  fellowship;  a  church  debt  of  $8,000 
was  paid ;  contributions  aggregating'  $50,000  were  made, 
and  during  the  last  year  the  then  unusual  sum  of  $870 
was  given  to  missions,  and  $5,000  to  other  benevolences. 

One  of  the  Canadian  delegates  to  the  great  Evangelical 
Alliance  Conference  in  New  York  City  in  1873  was  A.  B. 
Simpson.  He  was  invited  to  preach  for  Dr.  Burchard, 
in  Thirteenth  Street  Presbyterian  Church.  In  the  au- 
dience were  delegates  from  Chestnut  Street  Presbyterian 
Church,  Louisville,  Ky.,  who,  on  their  return  home,  recom- 
mended this  young  Canadian  to  their  congregation,  which 
was  without  a  pastor. 

When  the  Presbytery  of  Hamilton  met  on  December 
3rd,  1873,  there  were  before  it  calls  to  the  pastor  of  Knox 
Church  from  Chalmers  Church,  Quebec,  and  Chestnut 
Street  Church,  Louisville,  and  a  telegram  had  been  re- 
ceived stating  that  commissioners  were  on  their  way 
with  a  call  from  Knox  Church,  Ottawa.  Representatives 
of  the  Session  and  the  congregation  of  Knox  Church 
were  heard,  who  stated  that  with  great  reluctance  they 
had  agreed  to  release  their  beloved  pastor  if  he  himself 
should  see  his  way  clear  to  leave  his  charge.  After  several 
presbyters  had  spoken  most  appreciatively  of  his  ministry 
it  was  agreed  to  grant  the  translation  and  to  dissolve 
Mr.  Simpson's  pastoral  connection  with  Knox  Church 
on  the  twentieth  day  of  December. 

It  was  an  affecting  scene  when  the  pastor  bade  fare- 
well to  his  flock.  The  Ladies'  Aid  Association,  which  he 
had  organized,  presented  him  with  an  address  giving 
both  him  and  Mrs.  Simpson  valuable  tokens  of  remem- 
brance. In  his  reply  he  gave  thanks  to  God  for  His 
marvelous  blessing  on  the  work  and  to  the  people  for 
their  love  and  cooperation.    The  press,  which  had  recog- 

52  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

nizcd  his  gifts  by  frequently  publishing  his  addresses,  ex- 
pressed the  regret  felt  in  the  city  at  the  loss  of  such  a 
brilliant  preacher.  Before  the  year  ended  the  family 
were  speeding  to  their  new  home  in  the  sunny  South. 




HESTNUT  Street  Church  was  the  largest  Presby- 
terian congregation  in  Louisville  and  the  most  in- 
fluential in  that  Synod  of  the  Northern  Presbyterian 
Church.  It  had  noble  traditions  and  challenged  the  best 
effort  of  the  brilliant  young  Canadian  who  had  been 
called  to  be  its  spiritual  leader.  An  annual  stipend  of 
five  thousand  dollars  relieved  him  of  financial  anxiety, 
and  the  welcome  accorded  to  him  and  Mrs.  Simpson 
promised  well  for  a  happy  pastorate. 

The  inaugural  sermon  gave  assurance  of  a  true  Gospel 
ministry.  It  was  a  timely  application  of  the  text,  "And 
they  saw  no  man  save  Jesus  only,"  leading  up  to  a  per- 
sonal pledge  and  appeal  to  his  people.  "In  coming 
among  you,  I  am  not  ashamed  to  own  this  as  the  aim 
of  my  ministry  and  to  take  these  words  as  the  motto  and 
keynote  of  my  future  preaching — Jesus  only." 

The  young  pastor  was  still  treading  the  well-beaten 
paths  of  the  modern  Church.  How  little  he  anticipated 
the  developments  that  were  to  come  in  his  life  and  minis- 
try was  shown  by  this  sentence  in  his  personal  address 
to  the  congregation  that  morning:  "I  shall  not  prove  to 
be  the  apostle  of  any  new  revelation  or  become  the  ex- 
ponent of  any  new  truth."  New  to  him  and  to  his  flock 
were  those  revelations  of  the  fullness  of  the  Gospel  which 
came  when  his  own  eyes  had  seen  "no  man  save  Jesus 
only."  Strangely  new  would  have  sounded  his  great 
hymn,  "Jesus  Only,"  into  which  he  compressed  his  later 
and  richer  conceptions,  of  which  this  is  the  refrain — 

54  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

"Jesus    only!      Jesus    ever! 
Jesus  all  in  all  we  sing! 
Saviour,  Sanctifier,  Healer, 
Glorious  Lord  and  Coming  King!" 

It  was  not  long  till  Louisville  awakened  to  the  fact 
that  a  very  vital  force  had  appeared.     The  city  lay  on 
the  border  line  between  the  North  and  the  South,  and 
denominations  had  been  divided"  on  the  question  of  slav- 
ery, some  Louisville  congregations  adhering  to  one  sec- 
tion and  some  to  the  other.     A  decade  had  not  sufficed 
to   reconcile  brother  to   brother   even   within   Christian 
circles.    Mr.  Simpson  felt  this  hindrance  keenly,  and  after 
much  prayer,  knowing  that  nothing  would  heal  wounds 
like  a  revival,  he  invited  all  of  the  pastors  of  the  city 
to  meet  in  Chestnut  Street  Church  to  consult  about  bring- 
ing an  evangelist  for  a  series  of  union  meetings.    "But," 
said  he,  "we  must  have  unity  among  ourselves  first." 
They  went  to  their  knees  and  poured  out  their  hearts  for 
such  a  baptism  of  love  as  would  sweep  away  their  dif- 
ferences.   When  they  rose,  all  but  one  were  melted.    At 
the  second  meeting  two  ministers  who  had  not  recognized 
each  other  since  the  war  began  shook  hands. 

This  resulted  in  an  evangelistic  campaign  conducted  by 
one  of  the  great  evangelists  of  the  day.  Major  Whittle, 
and  that  sweetest  of  Gospel  singers,  P.  P.  Bliss.  The  city 
was  stirred  as  never  before,  and  hundreds  were  converted. 
How  greatly  Chestnut  Street  Church  was  quickened  is 
shown  by  a  report  of  the  communion  service  which  ap- 
peared in  a  daily  paper. 

"The  building  was  filled  to  the  utmost  capacity,  chairs 
and  benches  having  been  placed  in  the  aisles  and  around 
the  pulpit.  Since  the  last  communion  season,  three 
months  ago,  one  hundred  members  have  been  added  to 


the  church,  eighty- four  having  been  received  on  pro- 
fession of  their  faith  in  Jesus  Christ  as  their  Saviour 
since  the  beginning  of  the  meetings  conducted  by  Messrs. 
Whittle  and  BHss.  The  pastor,  Rev.  A.  B.  Simpson  has 
labored  with  untiring  patience  and  zeal,  and  has  now 
the  great  joy  of  seeing  this  large  number  saved  by  the 
blood  of  the  Lamb  and  safely  sheltered  within  the  fold 
on  earth.  His  pastorate  has  been  greatly  blessed,  and 
during  the  few  months  he  has  been  with  them  one  hundred 
and  seventy-five  have  been  added  to  the  roll.  He  is 
faithful,  tender,  abundant  in  labors,  and  the  work  of 
the  Lord  is  prospering  in  his  hand." 

Mr.  Simpson  was  convinced  that  a  united  Sunday 
evening  Gospel  meeting  should  be  continued,  and,  failing 
to  enlist  the  cooperation  of  the  other  churches,  he  deter- 
mined to  attempt  it  himself.  Public  Library  Hall,  where 
the  revival  meetings  had  been  held,  was  engaged  for 
these  Sunday  evening  meetings,  and  the  evening  service 
in  Chestnut  Street  Church  was  suspended.  The  Courier- 
Journal  and  other  dailies  gave  unstinted  support  and  de- 
fended him  against  unwarranted  criticism.  They  pub- 
lished some  of  his  addresses  verbatim,  and  their  wide 
constituency  always  received  at  least  the  heart  of  his 
message  and  an  appreciative  report  of  each  meeting. 

From  the  outset  this  unprecedented  procedure  on  the 
part  of  a  fashionable  church  met  approval  from  the  masses 
and  was  attended  with  divine  blessing.  Consequently, 
what  began  as  an  experiment  continued  as  an  "institu- 
tion."   In  the  late  spring,  a  reporter  wrote : 

"Public  Library  Hall,  seating  more  than  two  thousand, 
has  been  filled  to  overflowing  with  the  representatives  of 
all  classes  of  society.  Mr.  Simpson's  forte  is  pathos ; 
his  pungent  deductions,  lucid  illustrations,  and  incisive 

56  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

appeals  arc  but  so  many  strands  of  a  pathetic  line  of  dis- 
course that  breaks  down,  oftentimes,  the  sturdiest  indif- 
ference, takes  sophistry  by  storm,  and  vitalizes  the  most 
dormant  resolution."  Another  reporter  says  that,  "He 
broke  through  the  barriers  of  the  pulpit,  dissipated  the 
reserve  of  a  professional  divine,  and  talked  as  one  young 
man  talking  to  another.  The  effect  of  this  was,  what  Mr. 
Simpson  may  himself  not  have  noticed  particularly,  that 
in  the  ensuing  days  every  one  wdio  had  heard  him  and 
who  chanced  to  meet  him  saluted  him  as  an  acquaint- 

The  singing  of  P.  P.  Bliss  convinced  Mr.  Simpson  of 
the  wisdom  of  giving  a  large  place  to  the  ministry  of 
song,  and  in  all  his  subsequent  work,  not  only  chorus 
and  congregational  singing,  but  solos  were  special  fea- 
tures. He  was  a  keen  critic  of  the  work  of  the  soloist 
and  was  satisfied  with  nothing  less  than  a  musical  mes- 
sage given  with  the  same  motive  and  spirit  in  which  he 
preached.  Mr.  Bliss  returned  more  than  once  to  sing 
in  the  Sunday  night  meetings,  and  his  tragic  death  in  a 
railway  accident  was  a  great  blow  to  Mr.  Simpson.  The 
regular  soloist,  Mr.  D.  McPherson,  was  an  effective  co- 
worker throughout  the  Louisville  meetings. 

The  winter  campaign  was  so  successful  that  Mr. 
Simpson  proposed  to  model  the  future  work  of  the  church 
on  this  pattern,  and  to  this  end  suggested  the  erection  of 
a  Tabernacle  in  a  central  location  on  Broadway,  a  short 
distance  from  the  old  church.  The  congregation  con- 
curred, purchased  a  suitable  site  on  the  corner  of  Broad- 
way and  Fourth  Avenue,  and  proceeded  to  build  their 
new  home.  A  conservative  minority  opposed  this  and 
withdrew,  forming  the  nucleus  of  another  church. 

The  Sunday  night  service  was  resumed  in  the  fall  ot. 


1875.  It  seems  that  subtle  opposition  prevented  the  use 
of  PubUc  Library  Hall,  and  consequently  Macauley's 
Theatre  was  engaged.  This  led  to  another  storm  of 
criticism  on  the  part  of  a  certain  element  in  the  churches, 
and  caustically  censorious  articles  on  ''Sunday  Theatri- 
cals" appeared  in  a  religious  journal.  The  Kentucky 
Presbyterian  defended  the  course  taken,  and  the  city 
papers  were,  if  possible,  more  cordial  in  their  support 
than  during  the  previous  winter.  Even  larger  numbers 
attended  than  during  the  former  season,  and  frequently 
many  could  not  gain  admittance.  It  was  not  uncommon 
to  hold  an  after  meeting  for  which  many  remained.  Dur- 
ing that  winter  hundreds  confessed  Christ  as  their  Sav- 

The  Tabernacle  was  not  opened  till  June  9,  1878, 
nearly  three  years  after  it  was  undertaken.  The  original 
estimates  called  for  an  outlay  of  $65,000,  all  of  which 
was  subscribed,  but,  contrary  to  the  pastor's  wishes,  the 
plans  had  been  altered  and  the  completed  structure  cost 
$105,000.  With  a  seating  capacity  of  more  than  two 
thousand,  the  auditorium  combined  simplicity,  beauty, 
and  perfect  acoustic  effect,  while  in  its  external  architec- 
ture it  was  one  of  the  most  imposing  churches  west  of 
New  York  City.  But  the  debt  hung  like  a  cloud  on  Mr. 
Simpson's  spirit  and,  at  the  dedicatory  service,  he  poured 
out  his  soul  in  a  burning  and  almost  pathetic  plea  to  the 

"Side  by  side  with  other  churches,  with  a  definite  de- 
nominational basis  and  a  broad  and  liberal  spirit,  we  de- 
sire as  our  specific  aim,  besides  the  great  work  of  edify- 
ing the  Church  and  sending  the  Gospel  to  the  world,  to 
draw  to  this  house,  and  through  it  to  the  Cross  and  the 
Saviour,  the  great  masses  of  every  social  condition  who 

58  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

attend  no  church  and  practically  know  no  God.  It  will 
expose  us  to  just  criticism  if  we  have  built  a  home  we 
cannot  afford  to  own.  It  will  prove  a  fetter  to  our  free- 
dom and  our  energies.  Church  debts  are  properly  called 
church  bonds. 

"There  are  two  things  this  church  must  be  if  it  is  to 
be  blessed.  One  is,  it  must  he  free,  free  in  the  full  sense 
that  all  shall  give  gladly,  freely  to  God  according  to  their 
means — the  cents  of  the  poor  being  as  welcome  as  the 
thousands  of  the  rich — and  no  poor  man  excluded  because 
the  rich  can  pay  $ioo  per  year  for  a  pew.  But  a  church 
with  a  debt  can  never  do  this  satisfactorily.  The  other 
is  it  must  he  unselfish  and  missionary.  If  this  Tabernacle 
is  not  able  to  give  up  every  year  as  much  to  the  great 
cause  of  the  conversion  of  the  world  as  to  its  own  sup- 
port, it  stands  as  a  living  embodiment  of  selfishness  and 
will  die  of  chills.  Now  a  church  with  bonds  cannot  be 
a  successful  missionary  church.  Every  call  for  the  con- 
version of  the  world  will  be  answered  by  the  low,  sul- 
len word — debt  .  .  .  And  therefore  the  easiest  way  would 
be  to  make  one  brave,  final  sacrifice  .  .  .  This  morning  I 
desire  to  place  on  this  pulpit  the  simple  standard,  Broad- 
zvay  Tabernacle  Free!  free  from  debt,  free  to  God,  free 
to  all." 

On  that  Sabbath  morning  a  throng  of  nearly  three 
thousand  people  saw  the  strange  spectacle  of  a  formal 
opening  of  a  church  without  a  dedication.  The  pastor's 
appeal  had  failed,  and  he  refused  to  dedicate  to  God  a 
building  that  was  mortgaged.  For  two  years  he  preached 
in  it;  and  when  he  resigned,  it  was  still  mortgaged  and 

Years  afterward  Mr.  Simpson  wrote :  "Unable  to  get 
my  people  to  pray  about  it,  I  prayed  myself  and  claimed 


it  of  God  in  absolute,  implicit  faith.  One  year  and  a  half 
after  I  came  to  New  York  I  received  one  morning  a 
telegram  in  these  words :  'Tabernacle  debt  paid  yester- 
day. Come  next  Sabbath  and  dedicate  it.  Bring  Mrs. 
Simpson  with  you.'  Of  course  we  went,  and  the  most 
wonderful  thing  about  it  was  that  the  elder  who  regarded 
my  prayer  as  impracticable  gave  $40,000  of  the  whole 
amount  and  was  one  of  the  first  to  receive  us  to  the 
hospitality  of  his  home  as  his  guests." 

At  its  dedication  the  name  of  the  church  was  changed 
from  Broadway  Tabernacle  to  Warren  Memorial,  in 
honor  of  Mr.  L.  L.  Warren,  who  had  been  instrumental 
in  freeing  it  from  debt.  Two  months  afterwards  it  was 
destroyed  by  fire,  but  "rose,  phoenix-like  from  its  ruin, 
and  stands  today  as  a  monument  to  its  founder." 

Robert  Lowe  Fletcher  writes  with  keen  insight  of  this 
period  of  Mr.  Simpson's  life.  "It  was  in  1876  I  heard 
him  for  the  first  time,  became  associated  with  him  in 
religious  work,  and  a  member  of  his  flock  .  .  .  The  details 
of  his  ministry  possibly  are  most  valuable  and  interest- 
ing as  showing  the  leadings  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  pre- 
paring a  man  for  a  great  work — faith  tried  by  fire  .  .  . 
While  his  was  not  then  the  Spirit-filled  life  it  afterward 
became,  it  was  nevertheless  characterized  by  zeal  for 
souls  and  intensity  of  purpose  of  the  Pauline  type — such 
as  mocked  the  cross  and  flame  in  the  direst  period  of 
primal  Church  History.  But  the  rare  enduement  and 
endowment  of  intellectual  gifts  and  graces  were  ever  too 
conspicuous  to  escape  the  favorable  attention  of  the  most 
casual  observer.  At  that  time,  his  modest,  shrinking  na- 
ture would  have  forbade  his  entertaining  such  high  hopes 
for  his  ministry  as  were  realized,  for  to  the  very  last  he 
cared  not  that  the  world  should  hear  of  him  but  his  mes- 

6o  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

sage.  Nevertheless,  those  who  hkc  myself  were  privi- 
leged to  form  direct  impressions,  recognized  in  that  for- 
mative period  of  a  divinely  appointed  career,  a  latent 
power,  as  here  and  there  was  a  sparkling  radiance  in  his 
pulpit  oratory  that  was  to  be  notable,  under  God,  for 
efficiency  and  power." 

One  of  his  most  distinguished  fellow  students,  Dr.  J. 
Munroe  Gibson,  of  London,  England,  says  in  a  recent 
letter : 

"Since  our  student  days  I  remember  only  one  occasion 
on  which  I  met  him.  It  was  in  Louisville  and  must  have 
been  between  '76  and  '80.  I  thought,  'There  is  a  man 
who  must  have  made  marvelous  progress  since  the  old 
student  days,'  and  I  felt  rebuked  in  his  presence.  He  now 
struck  me  as  a  man  of  mark,  and  what  is  much  more,  a 
man  of  God." 

Mr.  Simpson's  pastoral  work  in  Louisville  was  quite 
as  extraordinary  as  his  pulpit  ministry.  On  one  occa- 
sion he  was  impelled  to  call  upon  a  prominent  citizen 
very  late  at  night.  It  seemed  the  more  unreasonable  be- 
cause a  fierce  storm  was  raging,  but  he  finally  yielded  to 
the  impulse.  The  gentleman  was  surprised,  but  invited 
him  into  his  study ;  and  when  he  learned  that  concern  for 
his  eternal  welfare,  about  which  he  himself  took  little 
thought,  had  brought  the  pastor  out  at  such  an  unseemly 
time,  he  was  convicted  and  turned  to  the  Lord. 

There  was  a  young  man  among  the  converts  who  was 
so  earnestly  seeking  to  follow  the  Lord  that  he  secured 
the  pastor's  consent  to  spend  half  of  his  lunch  hour  with 
him  daily,  and  under  this  influence  seemed  to  be  gaining 
strength  and  overcoming  his  temptations.  When  informed 
on  one  occasion  that  the  pastor  would  be  out  of  the  city 
for  a  few  days,  his  face  fell.     Then  Mr.  Simpson  said, 


"Will,  how  would  it  be,  if  instead  of  spending  a  half  hour 
with  you  daily,  I  could  hve  in  you?"  "Oh,  that  would  be 
fine,"  Will  replied,  "for  then  I  should  always  think  and 
do  and  say  just  what  you  would."  "Then  why  not  believe 
that  Jesus  Himself  lives  in  you,  Will?"  said  his  pastor. 
When  Mr.  Simpson  returned,  Will  did  not  come  as  usual 
at  the  noontime ;  so  he  went  to  see  what  was  the  matter. 
Will  greeted  him  with  a  happy  face  and  said,  "Pastor,  it 
works.  I  shall  not  need  to  trouble  you  now,  for  I  have 
found  that  Christ  really  lives  in  me." 

Another  incident,  which  he  narrates  in  Messages  of 
Love,  shows  how  he  enlisted  the  service  of  his  flock. 
"I  found  in  the  outskirts  of  the  city  one  of  our  neglected 
poor  so  ignorant  of  human  love  that  she  could  not  com- 
prehend at  first  what  I  meant  when  I  told  her  of  the  love 
of  God.  She  had  been  neglected,  abused,  and  wronged 
so  long  that  her  hand  was  against  every  man,  and  every 
man's  hand  was  against  her.  When  I  tried  to  lead  her  to 
the  knowledge  of  Jesus,  she  looked  up  into  my  face  and 
said,  "I  do  not  understand  you ;  nobody  ever  loved  me, 
and  I  do  not  even  know  what  love  means."  I  went  home 
that  night  to  my  proud  and  wealthy  church,  and  I  told 
them  I  wanted  them  to  make  a  poor  sister  understand 
the  meaning  of  love.  And  so  they  began  one  by  one  to 
visit  her,  to  give  her  little  tokens  of  their  interest  and 
regard ;  until  at  last  one  day,  months  later,  as  I  sat  in 
her  humble  room,  she  looked  up  in  my  face  and  said 
with  much  feeling,  'Now  I  think  I  understand  what  love 
means,  and  can  accept  the  love  of  God'." 

In  one  of  the  last  lectures  he  delivered  to  the  students 
at  Nyack  he  gave  another  experience  from  this  period. 

"I  remember  spending  a  whole  month  in  the  early  part 
of  my  Christian  experience  in  seeking  a  blessing.    On  the 

62  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

first  day  of  the  New  Year  I  started  to  wait  on  God  for 
a  wonderful  baptism.  I  said,  'I  shall  spend  this  week 
and  set  it  apart,  shutting  myself  away  from  everybody.' 
I  went  home  occasionally  to  my  meals,  but  dropped  my 
visiting  and  pastoral  work  and  just  spent  the  time  on  my 
face  before  the  Lord.  The  Lord  met  me,  of  course,  but 
I  did  not  feel  satisfied  at  the  end  of  the  week.  I  was  less 
satisfied  at  the  end  of  the  second;  at  the  end  of  the  third 
I  began  to  have  the  strangest  sensations,  and  at  the  end 
of  the  fourth  week  I  was  nearly  crazy.  I  said,  'Lord,  why 
don't  You  meet  me?  What  is  the  matter?'  and  at  last 
in  desperation  I  opened  my  Bible  and  said,  'Show  me  what 
You  want  to  say  to  me.'  In  the  last  chapter  of  Matthew 
I  found  the  words,  'He  is  not  here;  he  is  risen;  he  goeth 
before  you  into  Galilee;  there  shall  ye  see  him.'  In  that 
moment  I  remembered  there  were  a  lot  of  sick  people  I 
had  not  visited  for  four  weeks,  and  others  in  desperate 
need.  I  hurried  up  the  street  to  the  first  home,  where  lay 
a  suffering  one  whom  I  had  not  visited  for  some  time. 
I  had  not  prayed  two  sentences  until  the  heavens  opened, 
and  I  had  a  wonderful  baptism  of  the  Holy  Ghost.  I 
found  Him  when  I  took  Him  by  faith  and  went  forward 
to  use  Him  and  turn  my  blessing  into  a  blessing  for  some 
one  else." 

The  story  of  Mr.  Simpson's  new  revelation  of  Christ, 
of  his  physical  collapse,  of  the  growing  missionary  vision, 
and  other  threads  interwoven  in  the  Louisville  ministry 
is  part  of  later  chapters.  On  November  7,  1879,  after 
almost  six  years  of  strenuous  service,  he  resigned  to  ac- 
cept a  call  to  a  larger  field  and  to  new  experiences. 


THE  life  of  A.  B.  Simpson  can  never  be  interpreted 
correctly  if  the  great  crisis  through  which  he  passed, 
after  he  had  been  in  the  ministry  for  more  than  ten 
years,  is  not  thoroughly  understood.  This  was  not  only 
the  beginning  of  his  larger  life  and  ministry,  but  it  also 
changed  his  whole  view  of  the  Christian  life  and  deeply 
colored  all  his  after  teaching.  Moreover,  it  led  him  into 
the  rugged,  lonely  path  which  they  must  tread  who  wholly 
follow  the  Lord.  "I  have  lived  a  lonely  life"  was  one  of 
his  last  personal  remarks  to  the  Nyack  students.  He 
tasted,  as  few  have  done,  at  once  of  the  bitterness  of 
separation  from  friends  and  former  associates  who  did 
not  follow  with  him  in  his  new-found  path,  and  of  the 
sweetness  of  fellowship  with  those  who  were  one  with 
him  in  spirit  and  aim. 

Addressing  a  sympathetic  audience  in  London,  he  said, 
"Well  do  I  remember  when  first  the  Holy  Ghost  came  into 
my  heart,  how  lonely  I  felt,  how  far  I  was  removed  from 
my  old  Christian  associates — they  could  not  understand 
me ;  but  when  I  found  one  or  two  who  did  understand 
me,  how  dear  they  became  to  me !  They  were  more  than 
brothers,  more  than  sisters.  We  could  get  closer  because 
we  could  get  deeper  and  higher  in  God's  way.  Then  I 
remember  how,  when  I  got  a  little  further  and  found 
that  this  blessed  Jesus  is  a  living  Christ,  that  not  only 
is  His  spirit  for  my  spirit,  but  His  body  for  my  body, 
touching  mine  into  life,  and  holding  and  quickening  it 

64  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

with  His  own  resurrection  life — then  again  I  felt  so 
lonesome.  My  old  friends  seemed  to  leave  me,  and  for 
months  I  seemed  to  be  alone,  separated  from  hundreds 
and  thousands  of  ministers  and  people  I  ^ad  loved  and 
worked  with  all  my  life.  But  when  one  and  two  and 
three  began  to  come  and  join  this  little  band,  oh,  how 
much  deeper  was  the  bond  of  love!" 

On  the  same  occasion  he  gave  this  simple  statement  re- 
garding three  experiences  which  mark  the  great  epochs 
in  his  life.  "Some  twenty-seven  years  ago,  I  floundered 
for  ten  months  in  the  waters  of  despondency,  and  I  got 
out  of  them  just  by  believing  in  Jesus  as  my  Saviour. 
About  twelve  years  ago  I  got  into  another  deep  experi- 
ence of  conviction,  and  I  got  out  of  that  by  believing  in 
Jesus  as  my  Sanctifier.  After  years  of  teaching  from 
and  waiting  on  Him,  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  showed  me 
four  years  ago  that  it  was  His  blessed  will  to  be  my  com- 
plete Saviour  for  body  as  well  as  soul." 

The  first  of  these  experiences  has  been  narrated  in 
Dr.  Simpson's  reminiscences.  He  entered  into  a  deep  and 
abiding  sense  of  "peace  with  God  through  our  Lord 
Jesus  Christ."  He  lived  and  ministered  in  this  precious 
revelation,  preaching  justification  as  taught  in  the  fifth 
chapter  of  Romans,  with  great  power  and  unction.  Of 
the  truth  declared  in  the  sixth  chapter  he  had  then  no 
personal  experience,  while  of  the  heights  and  depths  of 
the  eighth  chapter  he  had  but  glimpses.  His  personal 
experience  was  the  conflict  so  vividly  described  in  the 
seventh  chapter  of  that  epistle. 

In  a  sermon  to  his  first  congregation  in  Hamilton  on 
the  fiftieth  anniversary  of  his  ordination,  he  made  humble 
reference  to  this  condition.  "Fifty  years  ago  the  one 
who   addresses   you   this  evening   was   ordained   in   this 


sacred  place.  He  was  a  young,  ambitious  minister  of 
twenty-one  and  had  not  yet  learned  the  humbling  les- 
sons which  God  in  faithful  love  is  pleased  to  teach  us 
as  fast  as  we  are  willing  to  learn.  He  was  sincere  and 
earnest  up  to  the  light  that  he  had  received,  but  even  after 
the  nine  years  of  active  ministry  in  Hamilton  he  had  not 
yet  learned  the  deeper  lessons  of  spiritual  life  and  power 
which  God  was  pleased  to  open  to  him  after  taking  him 
from  this  place.  There  is  a  remarkable  passage  in  Isaiah 
telling  us  that  when  the  Spirit  is  poured  out  from  on  high, 
the  wilderness  shall  become  a  fruitful  field,  and  the  fruit- 
ful field  shall  be  counted  for  a  forest.  When  that  ex- 
perience came  to  him,  the  field  of  his  former  ministry, 
which  had  been  so  fruitful,  suddenly  appeared  barren 
and  withered,  and  he  felt  that  his  true  ministry  had 
scarcely  yet  begun." 

The  second  great  crisis  began  early  in  his  Louisville 
ministry.  Contact  with  those  Spirit-filled  evangelists. 
Whittle  and  Bliss,  awakened  him  to  his  lack  of  spiritual 
power  for  life  and  service  and  led  him  to  seek  the  infill- 
ing of  the  Holy  Spirit. 

He  has  left  us  this  clear-cut  testimony  about  this  crisis. 
*T  look  back  with  unutterable  gratitude  to  the  lonely  and 
sorrowful  night  when,  mistaken  in  many  things  and  im- 
perfect in  all,  and  not  knowing  but  that  it  would  be  death 
in  the  most  literal  sense  before  the  morning  light,  my 
heart's  first  full  consecration  was  made,  and  with  unre- 
served surrender  I  first  could  say, 

'Jesus,  I  my  cross  have  taken, 
All  to  leave  and  follow  Thee; 
Destitute,  despised,  forsaken. 

Thou  from  hence  my  All  shall  be.' 

Never,  perhaps,  has  my  heart  knowii  quite  such  a  thrill 

66  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

of  joy  as  when  the  following  Sabbath  morning  I  gave 
out  those  lines  and  sung  them  with  all  my  heart.  And 
if  God  has  been  pleased  to  make  my  life  in  any  measure  a 
little  temple  for  His  indwelling  and  for  His  glory,  and 
if  He  ever  shall  be  pleased  to  use  me  in  any  fuller  meas- 
ure, it  has  been  because  of  that  hour,  and  it  will  be  still 
in  the  measure  in  which  that  hour  is  made  the  key-note 
of  a  consecrated,  crucified,  and  Christ-devoted  life." 

His  experience,  as  well  as  his  close  study  of  the  Word, 
convinced  him  that  many  refuse  the  workings  of  the  Holy 
Spirit  as  He  seeks  to  lead  them  through  such  a  crisis  into 
the  fullness  of  God.  The  pathos  of  it  moved  him  when 
he  wrote, 

"They  came  to  the  gates  of  Canaan, 
But  they  never  entered  in ; 
They  came  to  the  very  threshold, 
But    they    perished    in    their    sin." 

All  this  was  to  him  both  a  new  theory  and  a  new  ex- 
perience. 'T  used  to  think,"  he  says,  "that  we  were  sanc- 
tified at  last  in  order  to  get  to  heaven — that  the  very 
last  thing  God  did  for  the  soul  was  to  sanctify  it,  and 
that  then  He  took  it  right  home ;  and  I  will  confess  that 
at  that  time  I  was  a  good  deal  afraid  of  being  sanctified 
for  fear  I  should  die  very  soon  afterward.  But  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ  tells  us  that  we  are  sanctified  in  order  to 
serve  Him  here." 

Step  by  step  he  learned  the  true  meaning  of  a  sanctified 
life.  Commenting  on  Psalm  no,  he  says,  "Consecration 
must  come  first  and  then  sanctification.  We  can  conse- 
crate ourselves  as  freewill  offerings;  then  God  sanctifies 
us  and  clothes  us  with  the  beauties  of  His  holiness.  The 
consecration  is  ours ;  the  sanctification  is  His." 

In  a  brief  exposition  of  the  Fourfold  Gospel  he  writes 


of  the  definiteness  of  this  crisis  in  unequivocal  terms. 
"We  also  believe,  and  this  is  the  emphatic  point  in  our 
testimony,  that  this  experience  of  Christ  our  Sanctifier 
marks  a  definite  and  distinct  crisis  in  the  history  of  a 
soul.  We  do  not  grow  into  it,  but  we  cross  a  definite 
line  of  demarcation  as  clear  as  when  the  hosts  of  Joshua 
crossed  the  Jordan  and  were  over  in  the  promised  land 
and  set  up  a  great  heap  of  stones  so  that  they  never 
could  forget  that  crisis  hour." 

Dr.  Simpson  regarded  the  Holy  Spirit  as  the  divine 
agent  in  this  blessed  experience  of  sanctification.  "There- 
fore the  baptism  of  the  Holy  Spirit  is  simultaneous  with 
our  union  with  the  Lord  Jesus;  the  Spirit  does  not  act 
apart  from  Christ,  but  it  is  His  to  take  of  the  things  of 
Christ  and  show  them  unto  us." 

In  the  Fullness  of  Jesus  he  states  this  in  another  way. 
"The  indwelling  of  the  Holy  Ghost  in  the  human  spirit 
is  quite  distinct  from  the  work  of  regeneration.  In  Eze- 
kiel  36:26  they  are  most  clearly  distinguished.  The  one 
is  described  as  the  taking  away  of  'the  hard  and  stony 
heart  and  giving  the  heart  of  flesh' ;  of  the  other  it  is 
said :  T  will  put  my  Spirit  within  you  and  cause  you  to 
walk  in  my  statutes,  and  ye  shall  keep  my  judgments  and 
do  them.'  The  one  is  like  the  building  of  the  house, 
the  other  the  owner  moving  in  and  making  it  his  own  per- 
sonal residence." 

In  a  passage  from  The  Christ  of  the  Forty  Days  we 
read:  "There  is  a  great  difference  between  our  receiv- 
ing power  from  the  Holy  Ghost  and  our  receiving  the 
Holy  Ghost  as  our  power.  In  the  latter  case  we  are  as 
insignificant  and  insufficient  as  ever,  and  it  is  the  person 
who  dwells  within  us  who  possesses  and  exercises  all  the 
gifts  and  powers  of  our  ministry,  and  only  as  we  abide 

68  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

in  Him  and  He  works  in  us  are  we  able  to  exercise  this 

He  learned,  too,  that  "what  men  and  women  need  to 
know  to-day  is  not  sanctification  as  a  state,  but  Christ  <is 
a  living  Person."  In  his  much  quoted  tract  Himself,  we 
find  him  saying,  "I  prayed  a  long  time  to  get  sanctified, 
and  sometimes  I  thought  I  had  it.  On  one  occasion  I 
felt  something,  and  I  held  on  with  a  desperate  grip  for 
fear  I  should  lose  it,  and  kept  awake  the  whole  night 
fearing  it  would  go.  And,  of  course,  it  went  with  the 
next  sensation  and  the  next  mood.  Of  course  I  lost  it 
because  I  did  not  hold  on  to  Him."  Out  of  such  painful 
experience  grew  his  glad  song: 

"Once   it  was   the   blessing, 

Now  it  is  the  Lord ; 
Once  it  was  the  feeling, 

Now  it  is  His  Word ; 
Once  His  gift  I  wanted, 

Now,  the  Giver  own ; 
Once  I  sought  for  healing. 

Now  Himself  alone." 

This  became  so  clear  to  hhii  that  he  never  preached 
perfection  but  a  perfect  Christ  abiding  in  the  sanctified 
believer.  He  taught  that  "sanctification  is  divine  holi- 
ness, not  human  self  improvement,  nor  perfection.  It 
is  the  inflow  into  man's  being  of  the  life  and  purity  of  His 
own  perfection  and  the  working  out  of  His  own  will." 

Dr.  Simpson  believed  that  this  is  "complete,  but  not 
completed;  perfect,  but  not  perfected.  He  states  this 
admirably  in  Wholly  Sanctified.  "He  is  the  Author  and 
Finisher  of  our  faith,  and  the  true  attitude  of  the  con- 
secrated heart  is  that  of  a  constant  yielding  and  constant 
receiving.     This  last  view  of  sanctification  gives  bound- 


less  scope  to  our  spiritual  progress.  It  is  here  that  the 
gradual  phase  of  sanctification  comes  in.  Commencing 
with  a  complete  separation  from  evil  and  dedication  to 
God,  it  now  advances  into  all  the  fullness  of  Christ,  and 
grows  up  to  the  measure  of  the  stature  of  perfect  man- 
hood in  Him,  until  every  part  of  our  being  and  every 
part  of  our  life  is  filled  with  God  and  becomes  a  channel 
to  receive,  and  a  medium  to  reflect  His  grace  and  glory." 

A  close  study  of  Dr.  Simpson's  life  in  Louisville  re- 
veals that  the  fullness  of  these  great  truths  did  not  burst 
upon  him  suddenly.  The  great  crisis  moment  came  in 
1874,  but  it  was  not  until  the  summer  of  1881  that  he 
entered  into  "the  rest  that  remaineth  for  the  people  of 
God,"  thenceforth  to  live  and  work  in  continual  con- 
sciousness of  the  all-sufficency  of  Christ  for  spirit,  soul, 
and  body. 

It  was  a  stern  school  through  which  the  Lord  led  him. 
He  recalls  that  "In  a  crisis  hour  of  his  spiritual  experi- 
ence while  asking  counsel  from  an  old,  experienced 
friend,  I  was  shocked  to  receive  this  answer,  'All  you 
need  in  order  to  bring  you  into  the  blessing  you  are  seek- 
ing, and  to  make  your  life  a  power  for  God,  is  to  be 
annihilated.'  The  fact  is  the  shock  of  that  message  al- 
most annihilated  me  for  the  time,  but  before  God's  faith- 
ful discipline  was  through,  I  had  learned  in  some  adequate 
measure,  as  I  have  been  learning  ever  since,  the  great 
truth,  T  am  not  sufficient  to  think  anything  of  myself." 
Herein  he  was  finding  companionship  with  Moses,  for  in 
Divine  Emblems  he  writes,  "When  God  gets  him  there, 
reduced  to  the  smallest  of  proportions,  the  weakest  of 
all  men  that  ever  lived.  He  says,  'You  are  ready  for  work ; 
now,  Moses,  I  am  going  to  take  that  rod  and  with  it 
break  the  arms  of  Pharaoh  and  open  the  way  for  My 

70  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

people,  and  bring  waters  from  the  desert  rock,  and  make 
you  an  instrument  of  power'." 

Another  incident,  which  he  sometimes  referred  to, 
shows  how  he  entered  into  another  phase  of  this  Ufe. 
"Many  years  ago,  the  life  of  the  great  Hildebrand  became 
an  inspiration  to  me,  especially  when  I  learned  that  he  had 
chosen  a  patron  saint  as  the  guardian  of  his  life,  and 
attributed  all  his  success  to  the  care  of  St.  Peter,  to  whom 
he  had  devoted  his  life.  Blessed  be  God,  there  is  a  greater 
than  he!  and  when  I  read  the  story,  I  said,  'I,  too,  shall 
choose  a  patron  saint.'  But  it  was  none  other  than  the 
blessed  Son  of  God ;  and  thanks  to  His  dear  name,  what- 
ever I  have  known  of  strength  for  soul  and  body,  of  bless- 
ing in  the  Master's  service,  it  has  been  through  His  care 
and  friendship.     In  some  little  measure  I  can  say, 

'Jesus,  Jesus,  how  I  trust  Thee, 

How   I've   proved    Thee  o'er   and    o'er, 

Jesus,  Jesus,  precious  Jesus, 

Oh,  for  grace  to  trust  Thee  more'." 

How  intense  was  his  spiritual  longing  in  those  days  and 
how  wonderfully  the  Spirit  of  God  guided  him  to  the 
great  central  truth  of  which  he  was  to  become  a  special 
exponent  is  shown  in  the  following  narrative.  "Once  in 
my  early  ministry  I  travelled  a  thousand  miles  to  go  to 
one  of  Mr.  Moody's  conventions  of  ministers  in  Chicago, 
I  reached  there  about  six  o'clock  in  the  evening  and  went 
up  to  the  early  meeting.  I  did  not  hear  Mr.  Moody  sa^ 
anything,  but  one  plain,  earnest  preacher  got  up  with  his 
face  all  shining.  He  said,  'I  came  up  here  expecting  Mr. 
Moody  to  help  me.  But  last  night  I  saw  Jesus,  and  I 
got  such  a  look  at  Jesus  that  I  am  never  going  to  need 
anything  again  as  long  as  I  live.'  And  he  wound  up  with 
a  long  Hallelujah.    Something  smote  my  heart.    'All  you 



A.  B    Simpson  at  the  Crisis. 


need  is  Jesus ;  you  go  to  Him.'  I  took  the  train  back  home 
that  night.  I  did  not  wait  for  the  convention.  I  went  to 
my  office  in  the  church  vestry,  and  I  waited  there  on  my 
face  at  His  blessed  feet  until  He  came,  and  thank  God,  He 
enabled  me  in  some  measure  to  say, 

I  have  seen  Jesus,  and  my  heart  is  dead  to  all  beside ; 
I  have  seen  Jesus,  and  my  wants  are  all  supplied; 
I  have  seen  Jesus,  and  my  heart  is  satisfied, 
Satisfied   with   Jesus." 

One  of  the  lessons  came  through  his  failure  to  lead  his 
loved  flock  with  him  in  these  new-found  pastures.  They 
had  gloried  in  his  evangelical  preaching  and  had  taken 
the  unprecedented  action  of  following  him  from  their 
comfortable  church  home  to  a  public  hall  in  order  to 
reach  the  unchurched  masses.  But  they  halted  half  way 
on  the  path  of  sacrifice  and  ended  in  erecting  a  magnifi- 
cent modern  church  loaded  with  debt,  thus  defeating  his 
purpose.  Nor  had  they  any  sympathy  with  his  strong 
stand  in  declining  to  accept  a  salary  as  long  as  they 
refused  to  discharge  the  mortgage.  It  weighed  upon  his 
sensitive  spirit,  and  this  even  more  than  his  unceasing 
labors  resulted  in  a  collapse  so  serious  that  for  a  time  it 
seemed  that  his  ministry  was  ended.  Then  it  was  that 
a  larger  ministry  unfolded  before  him,  and  "the  utter- 
most part  of  the  earth"  became  his  objective. 

The  third  great  crisis  to  which  he  refers  followed  an- 
other collapse  when  he  was  so  broken  that  the  help  of 
man  was  unavailing.  Then  he  found  that  one  of  the 
provisions  of  redemption  is  "that  the  life  also  of  Jesus 
might  be  made  manifest  in  our  body,"  and  that  by  this 
same  redemption  right  "we  have  the  mind  of  Christ." 
How  this  came  about  he  himself  will  now  tell  u&. 


IT  was  while  Mr.  Simpson  was  pastor  of  the  Thirteenth 
Street  Presbyterian  Church  in  New  York  that  he 
found  the  secret  of  Divine  life  for  the  body  and  entered 
into  an  experience  of  physical  healing,  which  bore  him 
through  thirty-five  years  of  the  most  strenuous  toil  in  a 
way  which  caused  multitudes  to  marvel. 

Some  years  before,  during  his  pastorate  in  Louisville, 
he  had  been  deply  impressed  by  the  healing  of  a  young 
paralytic  in  his  congregation.  He  thus  describes  the  effect 
upon  himself: 

"The  impression  produced  by  this  incident  never  left 
my  heart.  Soon  afterwards  I  attempted  to  take  the  Lord 
as  my  Healer,  and  for  a  w^hile,  as  long  as  I  trusted  Him, 
He  sustained  me  wonderfully;  but  afterwards,  being  en- 
tirely without  instruction,  and  advised  by  a  devout  Chris- 
tian physician  that  it  was  presumption,  I  abandoned  my 
position  of  simple  dependence  upon  God  alone,  and  so 
floundered  and  stumbled  for  years.  But  as  I  heard  of  iso- 
lated cases,  I  never  desired  to  doubt  them  or  question 
that  God  did  sometimes  so  heal.  For  myself,  however, 
the  truth  had  no  really  practical  or  effectual  power,  for  I 
never  could  feel  that  I  had  any  clear  authority  in  a  given 
case  of  need  to  trust  myself  to  Him." 

This  experience  is  no  extraordinary  one.  Thousands 
of  devout  servants  of  God  are  living  as  he  then  lived, 
some  of  whom  are  unwise  enough  to  assert  that  there  is 
nothing  better  promised  us  in  the  Bible,  during  this  dis- 


pensation  at  least.  For  such  Mr.  Simpson  had  great 
sympathy,  for  he  knew  that  the  Holy  Spirit  alone  ever 
led  him  to  see  that  he  had  a  right  to  the  life  of  Christ  for 
body,  mind  and  spirit. 

In  The  Gospel  of  Healing,  a  little  book  which  he  wrote 
nearly  thirty  years  ago,  and  which  has  been  issued  in 
many  editions,  there  is  a  chapter  in  which  he  tells  how  he 
was  led  to  see  and  accept  the  truth  of  Divine  healing. 
Among  his  papers  was  a  revision  of  this  personal  testi- 
mony, intended  for  a  new  edition  which  was  about  to  be 
published.  As  this  is  his  life-long,  as  well  as  his  latest 
testimony,  we  shall  let  him  tell  the  story. 

"For  more  than  twenty  years  I  was  a  sufiferer  from 
many  physical  infirmities  and  disabilities.  Beginning  a 
life  of  hard  study,  at  the  age  of  fourteen  I  broke  hope- 
lessly down  with  nervous  prostration  while  I  was  prepar- 
ing for  college,  and  for  many  months  was  not  permitted 
by  my  physician  even  to  look  at  a  book.  During  this 
time  I  came  very  near  death,  and  on  the  verge  of  eternity 
gave  myself  to  God.  After  my  college  studies  were  com- 
pleted, I  became  the  ambitious  pastor  of  a  large  city  church 
at  twenty-one,  and  plunging  headlong  into  my  work,  I 
again  broke  down  with  heart  trouble  and  had  to  go 
away  for  months  of  rest,  returning  at  length,  as  it  seemed 
to  me  at  the  time,  to  die.  Rallying,  however,  and  slowly 
recovering  in  part,  I  labored  on  for  years  with  the  aid  of 
constant  remedies  and  preventives.  I  carried  a  bottle  of 
ammonia  in  my  pocket  for  years,  and  would  have  taken 
a  nervous  spasm  if  I  had  ventured  without  it.  Again 
and  again,  while  climbing  a  slight  elevation  or  going  up  a 
stair  did  the  old  suffocating  agony  come  over  me.  God 
knows  how  many  hundred  times  in  my  earlier  ministry 
when  preaching  in  my  pulpit  or  ministering  by  a  grave 

74  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

it  seemed  that  I  must  fall  in  the  midst  of  the  service  or 
drop  into  that  open  grave. 

"Two  other  collapses  of  long  duration  came  in  my 
health,  and  again  and  again  during  these  terrible  seasons 
did  it  seem  that  the  last  drops  of  life  were  ebbing  out, 
and  a  frail  thread  held  the  vital  chain  from  snapping 

"A  few  months  before  I  took  Christ  as  my  Healer,  a 
prominent  physician  in  New  York  told  me  that  I  had  not 
constitutional  strength  enough  left  to  last  more  than  a 
few  months. 

"During  the  summer  that  followed  I  went  for  a  time 
to  Saratoga  Springs,  and  while  there,  one  Sabbath  after- 
noon, I  wandered  out  to  the  Indian  camp  ground,  where 
the  jubilee  singers  were  leading  the  music  in  an  evange- 
listic service.  I  was  deeply  depressed,  and  all  things  in 
life  looked  dark  and  withered.  Suddenly,  I  heard  the 
chorus : 

'My  Jesus   is   the   Lord   of   Lords: 
No  man  can  work  like  Him.' 

"Again  and  again,  in  the  deep  bass  notes,  and  the 
higher  tones  that  seemed  to  soar  to  heaven,  they  sang: 

'No  man  can  work  like  Him, 
No  man  can  work  like  Him.' 

"It  fell  Upon  me  like  a  spell.  It  fascinated  me.  It 
seemed  like  a  voice  from  heaven.  It  possessed  my  whole 
being.  I  took  Him  also  to  be  my  Lord  of  Lords,  and  to 
work  for  me.  I  knew  not  how  much  it  all  meant ;  but  I 
took  Him  in  the  dark,  and  went  forth  from  that  rude, 
old-fashioned  service,  remembering  nothing  else,  but 
strangely  lifted  up. 

"A  few  weeks  later  I  w^ent  with  my  family  to  Old 


Orchard  Beach,  Me.,  chiefly  to  enjoy  the  delightful  air 
of  that  loveliest  of  all  ocean  beaches.  I  lived  on  the  sea- 
shore while  there,  and  went  occasionally  to  the  meetings 
on  the  camp  ground,  but  only  once  or  twice  took  part  in 
them,  and  had  not,  up  to  that  time,  committed  myself 
in  any  full  sense  to  the  truth  or  experience  of  Divine 
healing.  I  heard  a  great  number  of  people  testify  that 
they  had  been  healed  by  simply  trusting  the  Word  of 
Christ,  just  as  they  would  for  salvation.  It  drove  me  to 
my  Bible.  I  determined  that  I  must  settle  this  matter 
one  way  or  the  other.  I  am  so  glad  I  did  not  go  to  man. 
At  His  feet,  alone,  with  my  Bible  open,  and  with  no  one 
to  help  or  guide  me,  I  became  convinced  that  this  was 
part  of  Christ's  glorious  Gospel  for  a  sinful  and  suffering 
world,  for  all  who  would  believe  and  receive  His  Word. 
"That  was  enough.  I  could  not  believe  this  and  then 
refuse  to  take  it  for  myself,  for  I  felt  that  I  dare  not  hold 
any  truth  in  God's  Word  as  a  mere  theory  or  teach  to 
others  what  I  had  not  personally  proved.  And  so  one 
Friday  afternoon  at  the  hour  of  three  o'clock,  I  went  out 
into  the  silent  pine  woods — I  remember  the  very  spot — 
and  there  I  raised  my  right  hand  to  Heaven  and  made 
to  God,  as  if  I  had  seen  Him  there  before  me  face  to 
face,  these  three  great  and  eternal  pledges : 

"i.  As  I  shall  meet  Thee  in  that  day,  I  solemnly  accept 
this  truth  as  part  of  Thy  Word  and  of  the  Gospel  of 
Christ,  and,  God  helping  me,  I  shall  never  question  it 
until  I  meet  Thee  there. 

"2.  As  I  shall  meet  Thee  in  that  day,  I  take  the  Lord 
Jesus  as  my  physical  life,  for  all  the  needs  of  my  body 
until  all  my  life-work  is  done ;  and,  God  helping  me,  I 
shall  never  doubt  that  He  does  become  my  life  and 
strength  from  this  moment  and  will  keep  me  under  all 

76  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

circumstances  until  all  His  will  for  me  is  perfectly  ful- 

"3.  As  I  shall  meet  Thee  in  that  day,  I  solemnly  prom- 
ise to  use  this  blessing  for  the  glory  of  God  and  the  good 
of  others,  and  to  so  speak  of  it  or  minister  in  connection 
with  it  in  any  way  in  which  God  may  call  me  or  others 
may  need  me  in  the  future. 

"I  arose.  It  had  only  been  a  few  moments,  but  I  knew 
that  something  was  done.  Every  fibre  of  my  soul  was 
tingling  with  a  sense  of  God's  presence.  I  do  not  know 
whether  my  body  felt  better  or  not— I  know  I  did  not 
think  of  it — it  was  so  glorious  to  believe  it  simply,  and 
to  know  that  henceforth  He  had  it  in  hand. 

"Then  came  the  test  of  faith.  The  first  struck  me  be- 
fore I  had  left  the  spot.  A  subtle  voice  whispered  :  'Now 
you  have  decided  to  take  God  as  your  Healer,  it  would 
help  if  you  should  just  go  down  to  Dr.  Cullis'  cottage 
and  get  him  to  pray  with  you.'  I  listened  to  it  for  a 
moment.  The  next  moment  a  blow  seemed  to  strike 
my  brain,  which  made  me  reel  as  a  man  stunned.  I 
cried:  'Lord,  what  have  I  done?'  I  felt  I  was  in  some 
great  peril.  In  a  moment  the  thought  came  very  quickly : 
'That  suggestion  would  have  been  all  right  before  this, 
but  you  have  just  settled  this  matter  forever,  and  told 
God  that  you  will  never  doubt  that  it  is  done,  and  you 
must  not  attempt  to  do  it  over  again.'  I  saw  it  like  a 
flash  of  lightning,  and  in  that  moment  I  understood  what 
faith  meant  and  what  a  solemn  thing  it  was  inexorably 
to  keep  faith  with  God.  I  have  often  thanked  God  for 
that  blow.  I  saw  that  when  a  thing  was  settled  with 
God,  it  was  never  to  be  unsettled  or  repeated.  When  it 
was  done,  it  was  never  to  be  undone  or  done  over  again  in 
any  sense  that  could  involve  a  doubt  of  the  finality  of  the 


committal  already  made.  I  think  in  the  early  days  of  the 
work  of  faith  to  which  God  afterwards  called  me,  I  was 
as  much  helped  by  a  holy  fear  of  doubting  God  as  by 
any  of  the  joys  and  raptures  of  His  presence  or  prom- 
ises. This  little  word  often  shone  like  a  living  fire  in 
my  Bible:  Tf  any  man  draw  back,  my  soul  shall  have 
no  pleasure  in  him.'  What  the  enemy  desired  was  to  get 
some  doubt  about  the  certainty  and  completeness  of  the 
transaction  just  closed,  and  God  mercifully  held  me  back 
^        from  it. 

"The  day  after  I  started  to  the  mountains  of  New 
Hampshire.  The  next  test  came  on  the  following  Sab- 
bath, just  two  days  after  I  had  claimed  my  healing.  I 
was  invited  to  preach  in  the  Congregational  Church.  I 
felt  the  Holy  Spirit  pressing  me  to  give  a  special  testi- 
mony. But  I  tried  to  preach  a  good  sermon  of  my  own 
choosing.  It  was  about  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  had  often 
been  blessed,  but  it  was  not  His  word  for  that  hour, 
I  am  sure.  He  wanted  me  to  tell  the  people  what  He  had 
been  showing  me.  But  I  tried  to  be  conventional  and 
respectable,  and  I  had  an  awful  time.  My  jaws  seemed 
like  lumps  of  lead,  and  my  lips  would  scarcely  move. 
I  got  through  as  soon  as  I  could,  and  fled  into  an  adjoin- 
ing field,  where  I  lay  before  the  Lord  and  asked  Him 
to  show  me  what  my  burden  meant  and  to  forgive  me.  He 
did  most  graciously,  and  let  me  have  one  more  chance  to 
testify  for  Him  and  glorify  Him.  That  night  we  had  a 
service  in  our  hotel,  and  I  was  permitted  to  speak  again. 
This  time  I  did  tell  what  God  had  been  doing.  Not  very 
much  did  I  say,  but  I  tried  to  be  faithful  in  a  stammering 
way,  and  told  the  people  how  I  had  lately  seen  the  Lord 
Jesus  in  a  deeper  fullness,  as  the  Healer  of  the  body,  and 
had  taken  Him  for  myself,  and  knew  that  He  would  be 

78  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

faithful  and  sufficient.  God  did  not  ask  me  to  testify  of 
my  feelings  or  experiences,  but  of  Jesus  and  His  faithful- 
ness. And  I  am  sure  He  calls  all  who  trust  Him  to  tes- 
tify before  they  experience  His  full  blessing.  I  believe  I 
should  have  lost  my  healing  if  I  had  waited  until  I 
felt  it. 

"Well,  the  next  day  the  third  test  came.  Near  by  was 
a  mountain  3,000  feet  high;  I  was  asked  to  join  a  little 
party  that  were  to  ascend  it.  I  shrank  back  at  once.  Did 
I  not  remember  the  dread  of  high  altitudes  that  had  al- 
ways overshadowed  me,  and  the  terror  with  which  I  had 
resolved  in  Switzerland  and  Florence  never  to  attempt  it 
again  ? 

"Then  came  the  solemn  searching  thought,  'If  you  fear 
to  go,  it  is  because  you  do  not  believe  that  God  has 
healed  you.  If  you  have  taken  Him  for  your  strength, 
need  you  to  fear  to  do  anything  to  which  He  calls  you  ?' 

"I  felt  it  was  God's  thought.  I  felt  my  fear  would  be, 
in  this  case,  pure  unbelief,  and  I  told  God  that  in  His 
strength  I  would  go. 

"And  so  I  ascended  that  mountain.  At  first  it  seemed 
as  if  it  would  take  my  last  breath.  I  felt  all  the  old 
weakness  and  dread ;  I  found  I  had  in  myself  no  more 
strength  than  ever.  But  over  against  my  weakness  and 
sufifering  I  became  conscious  that  there  was  another 
Presence.  There  was  a  Divine  strength  reached  out  to 
me  if  I  would  take  it,  claim  it,  hold  it,  and  persevere  in  it. 
When  I  reached  the  mountain  top,  I  seemed  to  be  at 
the  gate  of  heaven,  and  the  world  of  weakness  and  fear 
was  lying  at  my  feet.  Thank  God,  from  that  time  I  have 
had  a  new  heart  in  this  breast,  literally  as  well  as  spirit- 
ually, and  Christ  has  been  its  glorious  life. 

"The  Lord  has  often  permitted  the  test  to  be  a,  very 


severe  one.  A  few  months  after  my  healing  He  called 
me  into  the  special  pastoral,  literary  and  missionary  work 
which  has  since  engaged  my  time  and  energy,  and  which 
has  involved  much  more  labor  than  any  previous  period 
of  my  life.  And  yet  I  desire  to  record  my  testimony  to 
the  honor  and  glory  of  Christ,  that  it  has  been  a  continual 
delight  and  much  easier  in  every  way  than  the  far  lighter 
tasks  of  former  years.  I  have  been  conscious,  however, 
all  the  time  that  I  was  not  using  my  own  natural  strength. 
Physically  I  do  not  think  I  am  any  more  robust  than  ever. 
I  am  intensely  conscious  with  every  breath,  that  I  am 
drawing  my  vitality  from  a  directly  supernatural  source, 
and  that  it  keeps  pace  with  the  calls  and  necessities  of 
my  work.  I  believe  and  am  sure  that  it  is  nothing  else 
than  the  life  of  Christ  manifested  in  my  mortal  flesh.  I 
do  not  desire  to  provoke  argument,  but  I  give  my  simple, 
humble  testimony,  and  to  me  it  is  very  real  and  very  won- 
derful.   I  know  *it  is  the  Lord'." 

The  idea  is  too  common  that  a  person  who  is  healed  is 
thereafter  immune  from  every  kind  of  sickness.  Dr. 
Simpson's  conception  of  Divine  life  for  the  body  was 
exactly  contrary  to  this  supposition.  He  felt  himself  to 
be  wholly  dependent  upon  a  vital  and  continuous  con- 
nection with  the  Lord  for  his  life. 

He  illustrated  this  by  a  personal  incident.  One  night 
he  found  it  necessary  to  search  for  some  papers  in  an 
office  which  he  had  abandoned,  from  which  all  lighting 
and  heating  appHances  had  been  removed.  There  was  a 
heap  of  ashes  in  the  grate  and  a  large  bottle  of  oil  on 
the  mantel.  It  occurred  to  him  to  pour  the  oil  upon  the 
ashes,  and  the  light  and  heat  thus  supplied  enabled  him 
to  accomplish  his  purpose.  He  says :  "It  was  a  beautiful 
parable   to  me.      There  was   a   time   when   my  physical 

8o  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

strength,  like  that  heap  of  ashes,  was  burned  out,  but 
lo!  I  found  a  vessel  of  oil,  the  blessed  Holy  Ghost,  and 
as  God  poured  His  fullness  on  my  exhausted  frame,  a 
Divine  strength  came,  full  of  svi^eet  exhilarance  and  un- 
wearied buoyancy  and  energy,  and  in  that  light  and  life 
of  God  I  am  working  without  exhaustion,  and  trust  still 
to  work  in  His  glorious  all-sufficiency  until  my  work  is 

A  definite  instance  in  which  this  simple  secret  of  life 
was  manifested  is  narrated  by  Rev.  W.  T.  MacArthur. 
"Mr.  Simpson  had  contracted  a  heavy  cold,  and  was 
really  a  sick  man,  but  he  delivered  the  convention  address 
for  which  he  had  come  to  Chicago.  At  the  close  of  the 
meeting  I  accompanied  him  to  his  hotel  where  he  sat  for 
a  few  minutes  in  the  lobby.  He  was  breathing  heavily 
and  ablaze  with  fever.  I  said,  'Mr.  Simpson,  is  there 
nothing  I  can  do  for  you?'  He  replied,  'Yes,  Mr.  Mac- 
Arthur,  you  can  say  good  night.  I  must  be  alone  with 
God.'  Early  in  the  morning  I  called  him  by  telephone, 
I  should  not  have  been  greatly  astonished  if  there  had 
been  no  response.  However,  the  signal  had  no  sooner 
been  given  than  I  heard  his  voice  sharp  and  clear.  He 
seemed  surprised  that  I  should  be  enquiring  for  his 
health,  and  asked  me  kindly  if  /  had  rested  well.  He  was 
just  leaving  for  a  convention  four  hundred  miles  farther 
West.  I  also  was  to  speak  at  that  convention,  and  ar- 
rived there  about  twenty-four  hours  after  he  did.  All 
agreed  that  they  had  never  seen  him  looking  better,  and 
had  never  heard  him  preach  so  well." 

Some  years  ago  Dr.  Simpson  himself  told  the  Nyack 
students  of  one  of  his  many  experiences.  He  had  been 
hastening  down  the  hill  from  his  home  to  catch  the  early 
morning  train  when  he  slipped  and  dislocated  his  knee- 


cap.  The  pain  was  intense,  and  he  was  unable  to  stand. 
"Sitting  there  on  the  ice,"  he  said,  "I  held  my  knee  up 
and  silently  prayed,  when  suddenly  it  seemed  as  if  the 
very  love  of  the  Lord  was  bathing  it  and  the  pain  turned 
into  an  exquisite  sensation  that  seemed  like  a  physical 

It  seems  not  a  little  strange  that  we  should  expect 
those  who  trust  the  Lord  for  their  bodies  to  manifest 
continually  a  perfect  physical  life  while,  at  the  same  time, 
we  excuse  ourselves  and  others  for  very  evident  failures 
in  spiritual  life.  The  Apostle  John  expressed  his  ardent 
wish  for  his  friends  in  this  prayer:  "Beloved,  I  wish 
above  all  things  that  thou  mayest  prosper  and  be  in  health 
even  as  thy  soul  prospereth."  Dr.  Simpson  believed  that 
this  was  the  true  measure  of  Divine  life  for  the  body, 
for  to  him  body,  soul,  and  spirit  were  inseparably  related 
and  each  equally  provided  for  in  the  dispensation  of 
divine  grace. 

Some  have  thought  that  Dr.  Simpson  changed  his  views 
and  attitude  in  his  latter  years.  Nothing  could  be  further 
from  the  truth.  Those  who  knew  him  most  intimately  all 
bear  witness  to  his  unshaken  confidence  in  the  Lord  as 
the  Healer  of  His  people.  Even  when  he  himself  in  his 
last  days  was  not  restored,  as  he  earnestly  prayed  that 
he  would  be,  his  faith  did  not  for  a  moment  fail.  He 
had  never  attempted,  as  some  have  done,  to  explain  some 
of  the  mysteries  that  sorely  perplex  those  who  demand 
that  the  secrets  of  the  individual  soul  in  its  relationship 
to  God  shall  be  understood  by  others.  We  shall  do  well 
to  be  as  wise  as  he  was  in  leaving  some  things  to  be 
made  manifest  when  we  shall  "know  as  also  we  are 
known,"  and  even  to  be  willing  to  allow  God  to  keep 
some  of  his  own  secrets. 



THE  providences  of  God  were  most  manifest  in  Dr. 
Simpson's  call  to  New  York  City.  His  ministry  in 
Louisville  had  been  not  only  successful,  but  had  marked 
an  epoch  in  his  life.  It  had  been  as  much  of  a  training 
school  to  God's  servant  as  a  ministry  to  God's  people. 
He  was  ready  for  a  new  departure  in  life  and  service, 
and  it  was  doubtful  if  his  flock  would  follow  their  shep- 
herd into  these  new  pastures.  Yet  another  man  with 
ideals  in  consonance  with  theirs  would  find  an  exceed- 
ingly inviting  prospect  in  the  pastorate. 

On  the  other  hand,  Dr.  Simpson  was  coveted  as  the 
successor  of  his  old  friend,  Dr.  Burchard.  It  was  in 
this  pulpit  that  the  Louisville  elders  had  heard  him  preach 
before  they  recommended  him  to  their  congregation.  It 
is  said  that  on  the  occasion  of  one  visit  his  message  had 
so  impressed  the  people  and  the  pastor  that  Dr.  Bur- 
chard would  not  speak  from  the  pulpit  for  some  time 
afterward,  but  addressed  his  flock  from  the  floor. 

New  York  City  presented  an  unlimited  field  for  such 
work  as  had  been  attempted  in  Louisville  if  only  forces 
could  be  released  to  conduct  it.  The  conviction  of  a  call 
to  such  work  was  deeper  than  ever,  nor  was  this  young 
pastor  yet  prepared  to  admit  that  it  could  not  be  done  in 
and  through  a  regular  church  channel. 

The  call  to  the  unevangelized  did  not  come  merely  from 
a  city,  however  great  and  needy.  The  "man  of  Mace- 
donia"  had   beckoned    the    Canadian    schoolboy    to    the 


South  Seas,  and  m  Louisville  he  had  heard  the  same 
clamant  call  from  China.  In  New  York  he  would  be  at 
the  missionary  center  of  his  own  denomination  and  others, 
and  plans  were  formulating  for  a  personal  ministry  on 
behalf  of  the  Christless  millions. 

All  of  these  considerations  and  others  weighed  with 
Mr.  Simpson  in  accepting  the  call  from  the  Thirteenth 
Street  Presbyterian  Church  of  New  York  City  in  No- 
vember, 1879.  His  first  discourse,  on  Acts  1 17,  8,  left 
no  doubt  that  he  had  come  among  them  to  declare  the 
gospel  in  dependence  upon  the  Holy  Spirit.  In  the  sec- 
ond week  of  January,  1880,  a  periodical  reported  that 
"As  a  result  of  a  deep  and  growing  work  of  grace  which 
has  manifested  itself  for  several  weeks,  thirty-seven  per- 
sons were  welcomed  into  communion,  twenty  of  whom 
were  received  on  profession  of  faith.  The  attendance  on 
the  Sabbath  and  at  the  usual  week  services  has  largely 
increased.  During  the  Week  of  Prayer  meetings  were 
held  every  evening,  and  are  being  continued  this  week. 
The  people  of  God  are  greatly  revived  and  strengthened, 
and  many  of  the  unconverted  are  seeking  Jesus  Christ 
and  His  salvation."  This  revival  spirit  continued,  and 
the  warm-hearted  pastoral  ministrations,  combined  with 
unusual  preaching,  greatly  endeared  him  to  the  congre- 
gation, the  surviving  members  of  which  still  hold  him  in 
the  highest  esteem. 

It  is  needless  to  say  that  no  success  within  the  limits 
of  a  church  building  and  congregation,  however  marked, 
could  have  satisfied  Mr.  Simpson  at  this  time.  For  two 
years  he  used  every  available  means  to  imbue  his  people 
with  his  own  ideal  for  a  church  located  as  was  this  one 
in  the  midst  of  the  masses.  He  did  not  meet  even  with 
such  response  as  was  given  him   for  several  years   in 

84  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Louisville.  The  congregation  and  officers  would  support 
him  in  every  effort  towards  their  own  edification  and  the 
extension  of  the  work  along  accustomed  lines,  but  they 
had  no  desire  for  aggressive  evangelization  of  the  un- 
churched masses,  nor  did  they  welcome  attempts  to  turn 
the  church  itself  into  a  home  for  all  comers. 

Dr.  Simpson  was  always  guarded  in  his  references  to 
the  attitude  of  this  church,  whose  affection  he  greatly 
prized,  but  on  one  occasion  he  related  an  illuminating  in- 
cident. On  the  outbound  trip  of  a  church  picnic,  dancing 
was  commenced  on  the  deck.  When  the  pastor  expostu- 
lated, a  church  officer  remarked  that  the  young  people 
must  have  the  worth  of  their  money.  A  prolonged  dis- 
cussion was  ended  with  the  ultimatum  that  unless  the 
picnic  were  conducted  in  a  becoming  manner,  the  pastor 
would  state  the  facts  on  Sunday  morning  and  appeal  to 
the  congregation.  Dancing  was  stopped  forthwith.  On 
arrival  at  the  park  the  pastor  was  wanted  in  every  di- 
rection, until  about  four  o'clock  he  slipped  away,  utterly 
weary,  to  find  a  quiet  spot  for  a  few  minutes'  rest.  He 
had  not  gone  far  till  he  was  attracted  by  music,  and,  his 
suspicions  aroused,  he  hastened  in  the  direction  indicated. 
To  his  astonishment  and  chagrin  he  found  that  while 
he  had  been  kept  busy  with  all  sorts  of  demands,  the  young 
people  had  been  enjoying  to  the  full  the  license  granted 
them  by  the  church  officials.  It  came  to  him  as  forceful 
evidence  that  their  ideals  and  his  were  irreconcilable  and 
was,  as  he  confessed,  one  of  the  indications  that  his  hopes 
could  not  be  realized. 

In  one  of  his  last  public  utterances  Dr.  Simpson  gave 
by  special  request  a  number  of  reminiscences,  one  of 
which  referred  to  this  crisis. 

"For  two  years  I   spent  a  happy  ministry  with  this 


noble  people,  but  found  after  a  thorough  and  honest  trial 
that  it  would  be  difficult  for  them  to  adjust  themselves 
to  the  radical  and  aggressive  measures  to  which  God  was 
leading  me.  What  they  wanted  was  a  conventional  parish 
for  respectable  Christians.  What  their  young  pastor 
wanted  was  a  multitude  of  publicans  and  sinners.  There- 
fore, after  two  years  of  most  congenial  and  cordial  fellow- 
ship with  these  dear  people,  and  without  a  strain  of  any 
kind,  I  frankly  told  them  that  God  was  calling  me  to  a 
different  work,  and  I  asked  them  and  the  Presbytery  of 
New  York  to  release  me  for  the  purpose  of  preaching  the 
gospel  to  the  masses." 

This  step  was  taken  after  much  deliberation  and  a 
week  spent  in  his  study  in  prayer.  After  discussing  his 
decision  with  the  Church  Session  he  announced  it  to  the 
congregation  at  a  midweek  meeting.  His  address  was 
from  the  text  "The  Spirit  of  the  Lord  is  upon  me  because 
he  hath  anointed  me  to  preach  the  Gospel  to  the  poor," 
and  stated  very  simply  and  clearly  his  reasons  for  resign- 
ing and  his  ideals  for  a  work  in  this  great  city.  A  daily 
paper  reported  that  "as  Mr.  Simpson  concluded,  many 
of  his  hearers  sat  with  bowed  heads  and  with  handker- 
chiefs at  their  eyes.  Officers  of  the  Thirteenth  Street 
Church  corroborated  Mr.  Simpson's  statement  about  good 
feeling  in  every  respect." 

One  of  the  issues  which  he  faced  at  this  time  was  the 
administration  of  the  ordinance  of  baptism.  He  had  be- 
come convinced  that  the  Scriptural  method  was  the  bap- 
tism of  believers  by  immersion  and  shortly  before  had 
submitted  himself  to  this  rite.  In  presenting  his  resig- 
nation he  made  reference  to  this.  "He  had  said  to  the 
Session  what  he  need  not  have  said,  but  he  did  not  wish 
to  keep  back  even  a  minor  matter,  which  he  regarded  as 

86  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

infinitely  subordinate  to  the  great  work  of  the  Gospel, 
that  he  felt  he  had  no  right  under  the  New  Testament 
to  administer  baptism  to  any  one  who  is  not  old  enough 
to  make  a  confession  of  faith  in  Christ.  As  a  minister 
of  the  Gospel  he  had  stood  in  this  spot  two  years  before, 
taking  the  installation  vows  that  he  believed  and  would 
teach  all  the  doctrines  of  the  Church,  and  it  would  be 
false  and  dishonest  for  him,  since  he  had  changed  his 
views,  to  remain.  He  had  no  intention  of  agitating  this 
question.  If  he  were  a  private  member  of  the  Church, 
he  could  still  remain  and  hold  his  views  on  Christian 
baptism,  since  he  did  not  regard  this  as  such  a  necessary 
ordinance  that  it  would  separate  him  from  the  communion 
of  any  evangelical  church." 

Dr.  Simpson  never  entered  into  controversy  concern- 
ing this  ordinance,  and  only  one  of  the  more  than  one 
thousand  of  his  published  discourses  is  on  this  theme.  In 
the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  baptism  was  administered  only  to 
believers  and  by  immersion,  but  no  one  was  excluded 
from  membership  whose  conscience  was  satisfied  with 
infant  baptism.  His  presentation  of  the  identification  of 
the  believer  with  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  in  his  death  and 
resurrection  was  so  clear  that  almost  everyone  who  ac- 
cepted this  teaching  sooner  or  later  came  to  see  that  bap- 
tism in  water  is  a  recognition  of  this  participation.  Con- 
sequently many  applied  for  baptism  at  the  conventions 
who  had  no  thought  of  leaving  their  church  affiliations. 

He  made  no  plea  for  a  following  from  among  his 
flock,  but  advised  them  publicly  and  privately  to  remain 
in  the  Thirteenth  Street  Church.  Consequently  there  was 
no  division  in  the  congregation,  and  not  more  than  two 
members  withdrew  from  fellowship.  He  never  became 
a  separatist.    In  conversation  with  an  elder  of  the  Presby- 


terian  Church  in  Canada  not  long  before  his  Ufe  work 
ended,  he  said,  "Stay  in  the  old  church  and  give  your 
testimony  there.  You  are  a  blessing  to  my  old  friend, 
your  pastor,  and  he  and  the  church  need  you.  Unless 
it  becomes  a  matter  of  conscience,  a  choice  between  obe- 
dience to  man  and  God,  your  place  is  where  you  are." 

Nor  did  he  try  to  deflect  Christian  workers  from  their 
associations,  though  he  sorely  needed  help  in  those  early 
days.  Rev.  Kenneth  Mackenzie  says:  "As  often  as  I 
could  I  met  with  him,  for  he  seemed  to  long  for  me,  and 
I  was  always  blessed  in  fellowship  with  him.  I  confess 
I  was  more  than  once  allured  to  think  of  following  his 
step.  In  later  years  he  once  declared  in  public  that  he 
would  much  prefer  to  have  Mr.  Mackenzie's  presence 
and  teaching  as  a  minister  of  the  Episcopal  Church  than 
as  a  worker  in  the  Alliance." 

In  due  course  Dr.  Simpson's  resignation  was  accepted 
by  the  congregation  and  the  Presbytery,  his  farewell  ser- 
mon being  preached  on  November  7,  1881,  He  had  sur- 
rendered a  lucrative  salary  of  $5,000,  a  position  as  a 
leading  pastor  in  the  greatest  American  city,  and  all  claim 
upon  his  denomination  for  assistance  in  a  yet  untried 
work.  He  was  in  a  great  city  with  no  following,  no  or- 
ganization, no  financial  resources,  with  a  large  family 
dependent  upon  him,  and  with  his  most  intimate  minis- 
terial friends  and  former  associates  predicting  failure. 
Dr.  John  Hall  said  to  him,  in  Presbytery:  "We  will  not 
say  goodbye  to  you,  Simpson ;  you  will  soon  be  back 
with  us." 

Only  seven  persons  were  present  at  his  first  meeting 
which  was  held  in  November,  1881,  in  Caledonian  Hall, 
Eighth  Avenue  and  Thirteenth  Street.  One  of  this  num- 
ber was  Josephus  PuUs,  the  reformed  drunkard,  of  whom 

88  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Mr.  Simpson  afterward  said  tliat  he  was  once  the  great- 
est sinner  but  now  the  sweetest  saint  in  New  York  City. 
From  this  first  meeting  until  his  death  in  1914  Mr.  PuUs 
was  closely  associated  with  the  work. 

In  one  of  his  choicest  books,  The  King's  Business,  Dr. 
Simpson  referred  to  that  humble  beginning.  "I  remember 
well  the  cold  and  desolate  afternoon  years  ago,  when  a 
little  band  of  humble,  praying  Christians  met  in  an  upper 
room  to  begin  this  work  for  God,  and  we  opened  our 
Bibles,  and  these  words  were  just  before  us :  'Who  hath 
despised  the  day  of  small  things?'  'Not  by  might,  nor 
by  power,  but  by  my  Spirit,  saith  the  Lord  of  hosts.'  We 
knelt  before  Him  there  and  thanked  Him  that  we  were 
poor,  that  we  were  few,  that  we  were  weak,  and  threw 
ourselves  upon  the  might  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  and  He  has 
never  failed  us." 

Three  services  were  held  on  Sunday  and  two  every 
day  during  the  week,  the  afternoon  gathering  being  for 
the  training  of  workers.  The  evening  service  was  pre- 
ceded by  street  preaching  and  usually  closed  with  an  in- 
quiry meeting  where  many  souls  were  saved.  It  soon  be- 
came necessary  to  secure  a  larger  place,  and  Abbey's 
Park  Theatre  was  taken  for  the  Sunday  evenings.  A 
feature  of  these  meetings  was  the  singing  of  a  large 
choir  which  filled  the  stage. 

The  next  step,  a  still  further  venture  of  faith,  is  re- 
corded in  In  Heavenly  Places: 

"Ten  years  ago  when  the  Lord  called  me  to  step  out 
into  this  work  of  faith  and  evangelization.  He  laid  it 
upon  my  heart  so  strongly  that  I  could  not  question  nor 
resist  that  I  was  to  take  the  Academy  of  Music.  It 
seemed  a  very  audacious  and  almost  reckless  thing  to 
do  in  the  feebleness  and  poverty  of  that  young  work,  for 


few  of  us  had  any  means,  and  it  would  seem  that  these 
should  be  husbanded  and  economized  to  the  utmost. 

"But  there  was  no  doubt  left  of  the  Lord's  mind,  and 
I  obeyed  and  committed  myself  to  the  work.  Afterwards 
I  could  see  God's  wise  and  holy  purpose  in  giving  breadth 
and  height  to  the  span  of  the  work  which  was  in  His 
mind  and  which  He  wished  us  to  begin ;  and  as  we 
stepped  forward,  the  way  was  opened,  the  means  were 
provided  at  the  last  minute,  and  the  work  was  inaugu- 
rated with  a  sweep  of  blessing  which  in  no  other  way 
it  could  have  received." 

In  this  great  auditorium  a  series  of  evangelistic  services 
was  held  in  which  Dr.  George  F.  Pentecost  participated, 
and  Mr.  and  Mrs.  George  C.  Stebbins  assisted  in  the 
service  of  song.  Dr.  Pentecost  was  one  of  the  first 
prominent  leaders  to  associate  himself  with  these  cam- 
paigns. His  attitude  is  expressed  in  a  letter  sent  to  the 
editors  when  he  heard  of  the  passing  of  his  friend,  whom 
he  was  so  soon  to  join  in  the  presence  of  the  Lord. 

"With  thousands  of  others  I  have  heard  with  profound 
sorrow  of  the  departure  of  Dr.  Simpson  to  be  with  the 
Lord  whom  he  loved  and  whom  he  so  valiantly  and  faith- 
fully served.  I  have  known  Dr.  Simpson  for  many 
years,  in  fact,  from  before  the  time  he  came  to  New 
York  from  Louisville.  A  most  lovable  and  courageous 
man,  loyal  to  his  deepest  convictions,  he  launched  out 
into  the  deep,  cast  his  net  on  the  other  side  of  Church 
conventionalities,  and  took  a  great  draught  of  fishes.  His 
missionary  zeal  was  astonishing  and  put  to  shame  some 
of  our  older  and  more  conservative  Boards.  I  have  met 
some  of  his  missionaries  in  various  parts  of  the  pagan 
world,  and  they  all  seemed  animated  by  his  spirit." 

After  this  campaign  they  met  in  Steinway  Hall,  Four- 

90  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

teenth  Street  and  Fourth  Avenue,  for  the  remainder  of 
the  winter.  In  May,  1882,  Grand  Opera  Hall,  Twenty- 
third  Street  and  Eighth  Avenue,  was  rented  and  was 
the  center  of  the  work  for  about  two  years.  A  tent  was 
presented  by  Mr.  Heller,  a  Newark  merchant,  and  a  site 
on  Twenty-third  Street,  offered  without  sohcitation  by 
William  Noble.  An  aggressive  evangelistic  campaign 
was  conducted  in  this  tent  during  the  summer  of  1882. 
The  following  summer,  the  tent  work  was  located  on 
Thirtieth  Street  near  Seventh  Avenue,  in  a  section  then 
the  very  heart  of  metropolitan  sin  and  crime.  A  reporter 
wrote  of  the  tent  meetings,  "Scores  have  been  brought 
to  conversion  during  the  summer,  and  scarcely  a  less 
number  have  been  completely  cured  of  diseases,  many 
being  complaints  of  long  standing  that  have  bafifled  the 
best  medical  skill.  A  list  of  names  of  those  who  had  been 
healed  was  given,  and  a  number  of  these  were  visited, 
all  of  whom  gave  their  testimony' and  evinced  the  most 
implicit  belief  in  their  healing." 

The  next  place  of  meeting  was  unusual.  On  the  second 
anniversary  of  Mr.  Simpson's  retirement  from  his  city 
pulpit  Madison  Square  Garden  was  transformed  into 
some  semblance  of  a  chapel  for  the  opening  of  a  series 
of  Gospel  meetings.  It  was  seven  years  since  the  Garden 
had  been  devoted  to  religious  services,  the  last  occasion 
being  when  Messrs.  Moody  and  Sankey  drew  large  crowds 
to  the  revival  meetings.  After  the  special  meetings  the 
work  returned  to  Grand  Opera  Hall. 

In  the  spring  of  1884,  a  more  suitable  home,  known 
as  the  Twenty-third  Street  Tabernacle,  was  secured.  At 
the  opening  service  Mr.  Simpson  said:  "I  am  reminded 
of  a  providence  I  dare  not  fail  to  speak  of.  We  desired 
to  secure  this  building,  then  an  old  Armory,  but  a  strong 


financial  company,  led  by  Salmi  Morse,  who  had  set  his 
heart  upon  presenting  the  blasphemous  'Passion  Play,' 
had  secured  it  for  fifteen  years.  We  did  not  stop  praying. 
One  lady  prayed  'O  Lord  Jesus,  make  the  carpenters  fit 
up  that  place  for  us.  Make  the  Passion  people  just  dec- 
orate and  furnish  it  for  us.  We  cannot  afford  to  pay  fifteen 
thousand  dollars  to  do  it  ourselves.'  God  did  put  His 
hand  on  it,  and  He  did  stop  the  public  production  of  that 
play.  After  spending  seventy  thousnd  dollars  in  re- 
modelling the  building,  the  project  broke  down,  and  the 
company  gave  up  the  lease.  They  offered  to  sell  us  their 
improvements  for  five  thousand  dollars.  We  prayed  over 
it,  and  God  stopped  us  from  going  too  fast.  The  building 
was  finally  put  in  the  market,  and  sold  at  auction,  and 
the  gentleman  bought  whom  we  prayed  would  buy  it. 
The  result  is  that  we  have  been  enabled  to  come  in  here 
without  paying  a  penny  for  improvements." 

Mr.  Simpson  left  for  England  in  1885,  and  shortly 
afterwards,  Mr.  Henry  Varley,  one  of  the  most  gifted 
and  effective  of  English  evangelists,  came  unexpectedly 
in  touch  with  the  work  in  the  Twenty-third  Street  Taber- 
nacle, the  outcome  being  that  for  six  weeks  in  the  heat 
of  summer  he  conducted  a  most  successful  campaign. 
This  provision  was  one  of  many  providences  discernible 
in  the  story  of  those  early  days.  God's  hand  was  so  evi- 
dent that  nothing  in  the  way  of  divine  interposition  ex- 
cited surprise.  In  his  subsequent  visits  to  America,  Mr. 
Varley  never  failed  to  appear  on  this  platform,  and  was 
one  of  the  most  welcome  speakers  in  the  Tabernacle 
and  the  Alliance  Conventions. 


THE  first  decade  of  Dr.  Simpson's  ministry  in  the 
new  movement,  of  which  quite  unintentionally  he 
became  the  leader,  was  an  era  of  evangelism.  Dwight  L. 
Moody  was  at  the  zenith  of  his  success.  Major  J.  H. 
Cole  and  Major  D.  W.  Whittle  were  holding  campaigns 
in  the  power  of  the  Spirit.  L.  W.  Munhall,  George  F. 
Pentecost,  and  George  F.  Needham  were  at  the  begin- 
ning of  their  successful  careers  as  evangelists.  E.  Pay- 
sou  Hammond  was  in  the  midst  of  a  unique  work  for  the 
conversion  of  children.  J.  Wilbur  Chapman,  R.  A. 
Torrey,  and  the  generation  of  evangelists,  among  whom 
they  were  preeminent,  were  being  prepared  to  follow  in 
the  train  of  this  greatest  group  of  soul  winners  of  mod- 
ern times.  Dr.  Simpson  himself  had  been  profoundly 
influenced  by  Whittle,  Moody,  and  Cole,  and  had  become 
a  recognized  leader  of  a  type  of  pastoral  evangelism 
which  changed  the  complexion  of  the  ministry  of  hundreds 
of  godly  men.  The  true  evangelist  has  had  no  warmer 
friend  nor  any  wiser  or  more  sympathetic  counselor.  He 
could  overlook  almost  any  idiosyncrasy  if  only  he  were 
assured  that  the  man  was  truly  a  winner  of  souls.  "Yes, 
but  he  is  one  of  the  Lord's  children,"  he  would  say  when 
criticised  for  his  leniency. 

His  preaching  never  lost  the  evangelistic  note  though  in 
his  later  years  he  could  not  answer  the  many  calls  for 
meetings  in  every  part  of  the  world.  When  insuperable 
burdens   finally  overwhelmed   him,   he  was   planning   to 


resume  his  old  time  every  night  meetings  in  the  Gospel 
Tabernacle.  He  never  attempted  any  work  that  had  not 
for  its  object  the  salvation  of  souls,  and  all  of  his  insti- 
tutions at  home  and  abroad  have  been  a  light  brigade 
in  the  great  movement  for  world  evangelization. 

It  was  to  this  that  he  attributed  the  blessing  which  at- 
tended his  ministry.  In  the  introduction  to  his  little 
volume.  Present  Truth,  he  says,  "Perhaps  one  reason  why 
He  has  been  pleased  to  bless  the  work  which  many  of  us 
are  permitted  so  imperfectly  to  represent  is  because  in 
some  measure  we  may  have  caught  His  meaning  and 
may  be  working  out  His  plan." 

The  work  around  which  all  of  the  activities  connected 
with  Dr.  Simpson's  ministry  centered  was  the  Gospel 
Tabernacle.  It  was  the  outcome  of  his  early  evangelistic 
meetings  in  New  York  City. 

In  Word,  Work,  and  World,  which  he  began  to  pub- 
lish in  1882,  he  says:  "At  first  there  was  no  formal  or- 
ganization, but  as  Christians  began  to  unite  in  the  work 
and  converts  to  need  a  Church  home,  it  became  manifest 
that  God  was  calling  the  brethren  thus  associated  to  or- 
ganize a  Christian  church  for  this  special  work  according 
to  the  principles  and  example  of  His  Word.  After  much 
earnest  prayer  on  the  part  of  the  little  flock,  a  meeting 
was  held  at  the  residence  of  the  pastor  on  the  tenth  of 
February,  1882,  and  a  church  formally  organized  in  the 
name  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  consisting  of  thirty-five 
persons.  In  one  year  the  actual  membership  of  the 
church  has  grown  to  217,  and  the  stated  Sunday  evening 
congregations  are  700.  No  assessments  or  pew  rents 
are  allowed,  nor  any  unscriptural  ways  of  sustaining  the 
Lord's  work." 

Mr.    Simpson   was   not    following   a   wholly   unbeaten 

94  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

track  in  his  church  ideal.  "My  plan  and  idea  of  a  church," 
he  said,  "arc  those  which  are  exemplified  in  the  great 
London  churches  of  Newman  Hall  and  of  Spurgeon, 
comprising  thousands  of  members  of  no  particular  class, 
but  of  the  rich  and  poor  side  by  side."  He  did  not  aim 
primarily,  as  many  have  supposed,  at  rescue  mission  work, 
for  he  wrote:  "From  the  first  it  was  not  designed  as  a 
mission  to  the  lowest  and  vicious  classes,  but  as  a  self- 
supporting  work  among  the  middle  classes,  who  have  no 
church  home."  This  was  undertaken,  as  stated  in  the 
Manual  and  Constitution,  "in  a  spirit  of  loving  consid- 
eration for  all  our  sister  churches  and  a  desire  to  work 
in  the  most  courteous  and  harmonious  relations  with  all 
evangelical  Christians  and  congregations  of  every  name." 
As  the  Gospel  Tabernacle  was  an  independent  church, 
it  was  necessary  that  it  should  have  its  own  constitution, 
principles,  and  by-laws.  These  were  exceedingly  simple, 
the  constitution  consisting  of  only  eight  brief  articles  of 
less  than  five  hundred  words,  yet  covering  the  essentials 
of  faith.  Profession  of  living  faith  in  the  Lord  Jesus 
Christ  and  the  evidence  of  a  consistent  Christian  character 
and  life  were  held  as  the  only  conditions  of  membership, 
and  baptism  by  immersion  upon  profession  of  faith  was 
practised,  but  was  not  compulsory.  The  specific  mission 
of  the  congregation  was  stated  to  be  the  evangeHzation 
of  neglected  classes  both  at  home  and  abroad. 

The  atmosphere  of  the  church  was  wholesome,  an  J 
although  it  suilered  much  misrepresentation  and  carica- 
ture, the  testimonies  of  sane  religious  leaders,  which  might 
be  quoted  at  great  length,  prove  that  there  was  nothing 
extreme  or  fanatical  either  in  the  testimony  or  methods. 
In  The  Christian  Inquirer  of  May  24,  1888,  was  the  fol- 
lowing sentence:  "It  is  a  mistake  to  suppose  that  Mr. 


Simpson's  work  is  mainly  in  the  line  of  propagating  the 
doctrine  of  Divine  Healing,  that  being  a  subordinate 
feature.  His  chief  work  is  purely  evangelistic,  and  in 
many  of  the  meetings  physical  healing  is  not  referred  to, 
but  Christ  as  the  sinner's  Friend  is  the  great  theme." 
Speaking  at  the  October  convention  in  the  Tabernacle 
in  1891,  Dr.  Ellinwood,  Secretary  of  the  Board  of  For- 
eign Missions  of  the  Presbyterian  Church,  said,  'T  can- 
not but  pray  that  God  may  speed  you  in  your  foreign 
missionary  and  every  other  part  of  your  work  in  seeking 
to  lead  men  from  the  power  of  Satan  unto  God.  I  re- 
joice in  all  you  are  doing." 

The  migrations  of  the  congregation  during  the  first 
five  years  have  already  been  followed.  From  Twenty- 
third  Street  Tabernacle  they  removed  in  May,  1886,  to 
The  Church  of  the  Disciples,  an  immense  building  at 
the  corner  of  Madison  Avenue  and  Fofty-fifth  Street, 
erected  as  a  popular  church  center,  where  Dr.  Hepworth 
and  Dr.  John  Newman  (afterwards  Bishop  Newman) 
had  ministered.  This  was  offered  to  them  at  about  half 
of  its  value,  and  after  much  praver  was  purchased. 

The  location  proved  to  be  less  suitable  than  had  been 
anticipated,  and  after  two  years  an  urgent  demand  for  the 
property  was  accepted.  For  a  few  months  meetings  were 
held  in  Wendell  Hall  and  Healey's  Hall,  while  the  Taber- 
nacle at  692  Eighth  Avenue  was  being  erected.  The  plans 
included  a  book-store  on  the  Eighth  Avenue  frontage 
with  rooms  for  the  Missionary  Training  College  above  it; 
Berachah  Home,  a  six  story  building  fronting  on  Forty- 
fourth  Street ;  and  the  Gospel  Tabernacle  at  the  rear  with 
corridors  opening  on  both  streets.  The  cornerstone  was 
laid  January  14th,  and  the  Tabernacle  was  opened  on 
June  23,  1889.     Thus,  after  occupying  twelve  places  of 

96  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

worship  in  eight  years,  the  congregation  found  a  per- 
manent home. 

The  Gospel  Tabernacle  was  the  center  of  the  ever  in- 
creasing ministry  which  radiated  from  the  life  of  Dr. 
Simpson  until  he  rested  from  his  labors.  Here  un- 
numbered thousands  have  been  saved,  sanctified,  healed, 
and  inspired  by  the  Blessed  Hope  of  the  near  coming  of 
the  Lord.  It  still  continues  to  be  the  most  aggressive 
center  of  evangelism  in  New  York  City.  The  poor  are 
always  welcome,  and  not  infrequently  drunkards  stagger 
in  through  the  corridor  and  go  out  saved  by  the  grace 
of  God. 

A  church  with  such  various  activities,  with  a  congre- 
gation so  widely  scattered,  and  with  such  a  standard  of 
pulpit  ministry  as  Dr.  Simpson  maintained  required  asso- 
ciate pastors  of  rare  endowments.  The  energies  of  the 
senior  pastor  were  more  and  more  divided.  Rev.  A.  E. 
Funk,  who  became  assistant  pastor  in  1886,  always  had 
many  duties  in  the  Institute  and  in  the  Alliance.  Several 
men  of  marked  ability  and  spiritual  power  have  been 
associated  in  the  pastorate  of  the  Tabernacle. 

From  1891  till  his  death  in  1908  Rev,  Henry  Wilson, 
D.D.,  was  the  greatly  beloved  associate  pastor.  He  had 
been  deposed  from  a  curacy  in  Kingston,  Ontario,  by 
the  Bishop  of  the  Church  of  England  in  Canada  because 
he  had  gone  to  the  altar  in  the  Salvation  Army  barracks, 
but  had  been  welcomed  by  Dr.  Rainsford  as  senior  as- 
sistant pastor  in  St.  George's  Protestant  Episcopal  Church 
in  1883.  After  coming  to  New  York  he  had  been  mar- 
velously  healed  and  quickened  in  the  Twenty-third  Street 
Tabernacle.  With  Dr.  Rainsford's  approval,  he  had 
participated  in  the  Tabernacle  ministries ;  and  when  he 
accepted  the  associate  pastorate  in  the  Gospel  Tabernacle, 


Bishop  Potter  said  his  standing  would  be  unimpaired. 
Consequently  he  maintained  a  communion  service  after 
the  Episcopal  order  in  the  chapel  of  the  Gospel  Taber- 
nacle regularly  when  in  the  city.  He  was  Dr.  Simpson's 
closest  friend  and  most  trusted  fellow-worker,  and  his 
genial  presence  and  spontaneous  joy  made  him  an  untold 
blessing  to  the  flock  and  the  wider  constituency  all  over 
the  continent. 

Rev.  Milton  Bales,  D.D.,  a  Methodist  Episcopal  min- 
ister, succeeded  Dr.  Wilson  as  associate  pastor.  Later, 
Pastor  F.  E.  Marsh,  from  Sunderland,  England,  filled 
this  office,  lectured  regularly  in  the  Missionary  Institute, 
and  traveled  widely  in  Convention  work.  Rev.  W.  T. 
MacArthur,  one  of  the  first  field  workers  of  the  Alliance, 
devoted  his  unique  gifts  to  the  Tabernacle  during  1912 
and  1913.  Since  that  time  Rev.  Elmer  B.  Fitch,  a  product 
of  the  Tabernacle  itself,  has  been  assistant  pastor. 

Besides  these  regular  pastors,  many  men  with  a  mes- 
sage were  heard  in  the  Tabernacle  pulpit.  In  the  early 
days  Dr.  John  Cookman,  of  Bedford  Street  Methodist 
Episcopal  Church,  was  heart  and  soul  with  Mr.  Simpson 
both  in  his  city  work  and  in  convention  tours.  He  was 
a  gifted  preacher  and  a  man  of  rare  spirituality,  and  his 
early  death  was  an  irreparable  loss.  Another  Methodist 
minister,  who  from  the  first  was  associated  with  Mr. 
Simpson,  was  Rev.  Henry  C.  McBride.  The  three  made 
an  admirable  team  for  convention  work.  Someone,  when 
asked  about  a  meeting  they  conducted,  said,  "Simpson 
laid  the  fuel,  Cookman  kindled  the  fire,  and  McBride 
went  up  in  the  flames." 

Rev.  F.  L.  Chapell,  D.D.,  who  in  his  later  years  was 
Principal  of  Gordon  Bible  College,  Boston,  a  preacher  ot 
the  prophetic  type,  was  often  in  the  Tabernacle  pulpit, 

98  LIFE  OF  A.  B,  SIMPSON 

and  Dr.  Frederick  W.  Farr,  for  several  years  Dean  of 
the  Missionary  Training  College,  was  one  of  the  most 
frequent  and  acceptable  substitutes  in  the  pastor's  ab- 
sence. That  prince  of  preachers,  Dr.  A.  T.  Pierson,  was 
always  warmly  welcomed.  In  the  more  recent  years  the 
younger  generation  of  Alliance  leaders  were  frequently 
heard  in  this  Mother  Church.  To  its  pulpit  still  come 
the  most  earnest  preachers  of  the  day,  and  not  a  few  of 
the  great  leaders  feel  as  does  Dr.  C.  I.  Scofield  who,  in 
his  opening  remarks  at  a  convention,  said  that  he  con- 
sidered it  a  high  honor  to  be  upon  this  platform,  and 
indeed  would  have  been  disappointed  if  his  friend,  Dr. 
Simpson,  had  not  invited  him  to  be  one  of  the  speakers. 

A  German  Branch  of  the  Tabernacle  was  begun  in 
1887  through  the  ministry  of  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk  and  others, 
which  has  been  used  to  spread  the  testimony  among 
many  of  the  German  speaking  residents  of  the  city  and 
which  has  added  many  of  the  most  devoted  and  godly 
members  to  the  congregation.  Regular  services  in  Ger- 
man have  been  conducted  by  Pastor  Funk. 

J  "From  the  first,"  wrote  Dr.  Simpson,  ''the  highest 
aim  of  the  Tabernacle  has  been  to  labor  and  pray  to 
carry  out  the  Great  Commission.  With  this  in  view, 
The  Missionary  Union  for  the  Evangelization  of  the 
World  was  organized  in  1883."  How  fully  this  aim  has 
been  realized  is  proof  of  the  clear  vision  which  he  re- 
ceived at  the  very  beginning  of  God's  plan  and  purpose 
through  his  instrumentality.  John  Condit  and  four  others 
were  sent  to  the  Congo  in  November,  1884,  the  intention 
being  to  establish  a  self-supporting  mission,  but  this  first 
missionary  venture  failed  of  permanency.  All  of  the 
later  missionary  efforts  were  conducted  through  the  So- 
ciety formed  at  Old  Orchard  in  1887. 


Another  phase  of  the  missionary  effort  was  the  insti- 
tution of  the  Missionary  Training  College  in  October, 
1883.  This  opens  such  a  large  chapter  in  Dr.  Simpson's 
Hfe  that  Dean  Turnbull  will  discuss  it  in  a  special 

Though  the  movement  was  not  a  Rescue  Mission,  spe- 
cial efforts  were  made  from  the  very  beginning  to  reach 
the  submerged  element  in  the  city,  and  such  missions  in 
New  York  and  elsewhere  look  to  the  Alliance  for  the 
warmest  sympathy  and  support.  The  closing  day  of  the 
New  York  convention  has  always  been  devoted  entirely 
to  meetings  for  Rescue  Missions,  and  draws  together  a 
large  number  of  their  leaders. 

In  1885  two  such  missions  were  commenced.  One  of 
these,  at  Thirteenth  Street,  near  Greenwich  Street,  was 
conducted  and  sustained  entirely  by  the  young  men  of 
the  Twenty-third  Street  Tabernacle.  The  treasurer  was 
Franklin  L.  Groff,  who  still  continues  in  active  asso- 
ciation with  the  Tabernacle,  and  whose  business  genius 
has  been  used  in  his  office  as  Financial  Secretary  of  the 
Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance  to  establish  a  thorough- 
going system  in  the  work  of  the  society. 

The  other,  known  as  Berachah  Mission,  instituted  and 
conducted  by  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Henry  Naylor,  was  opened 
on  Twenty-ninth  Street  near  Ninth  Avenue  in  the  Autumn 
of  1885.  Mrs.  Naylor  had  been  wonderfully  healed,  and 
their  life  and  fortune  were  consecrated  to  the  Lord's  ser- 
vice. They  purchased  a  site  at  Tenth  Avenue  and  West 
Thirty-second  Street,  and  erected  the  best  equipped  mis- 
sion in  the  city  at  a  cost  of  more  than  thirty  thousand 
dollars.  It  was  dedicated  on  Mr.  Naylor's  fiftieth  birth- 
day, June  21  st,  1887,  and  for  many  years  reached  thou- 
sands of  the  most  degraded  and  neglected  of  the  people 

4     C^-4     -i:    O 


in  Lhis  district  which  was  then  such  a  den  of  iniquity  that 
it  was  known  as  Hell's  Kitchen.  It  also  maintained  a 
special  work  for  sailors.  Dr.  Dowkonnt,  of  the  Medical 
Mission,  held  a  free  dispensary  and  gave  medical  attend- 
ance without  charge  to  the  poor  of  the  neighborhood. 
Rev.  Robert  Henck  was  pastor  and  superintendent  for 
some  years,  and  after  Mr.  Naylor's  death  was  united  in 
marriage  with  Mrs.  Naylor. 

In  1889  a  branch,  known  as  the  Eleventh  Avenue  Mis- 
sion, was  opened  on  Eleventh  Avenue  near  Thirty-eighth 
Street  by  converts  and  workers  of  the  Berachah  Mission 
where  fruitful  soul  saving  work  was  carried  on. 

As  one  of  the  earliest  developments  a  service  was 
opened  in  1882  at  120  West  Twenty-seventh  Street  for 
the  salvation  of  the  fallen  women  who  crowded  that  part 
of  the  city,  Mrs.  Henry  Naylor  being  the  chairman  of  a 
committee  of  ladies  who  had  this  work  in  charge.  This 
ministry  has  been  continued  under  other  auspices  as  the 
Margaret  Strachan  Home. 

Mrs.  E.  M.  Whittemore,  like  Mrs.  Naylor,  had  re- 
ceived a  great  spiritual  quickening  when  she  was  healed, 
and  also  devoted  herself  to  rescue  work  for  girls.  In 
1891  The  Door  of  Hope  was  opened,  and  this  mission  has 
been  one  of  the  monuments  to  faith  in  God.  It  has  al- 
ways had  the  hearty  co-operation  of  Dr.  Simpson  and 
the  Gospel  Tabernacle. 

The  South  Street  Mission  also  originated  with  the 
ladies  of  the  Tabernacle  but  was  taken  up  and  wholly  sus- 
tained by  Mrs.  D.  W.  Bishop,  a  friend  of  the  work.  It 
has  been  known  for  many  years  as  the  Catherine  Street 
Mission,  is  under  the  superintendency  of  Miss  Margaret 
Delaney,  and  is  still  in  cordial  fellowship  with  the 


The  Colby  Mission,  Greeenpoint,  Brooklyn,  was  car- 
ried on  and  supported  for  twenty  years  by  Mr.  Charles 
Colby  and  his  family,  who  had  been  inspired  to  service 
through  Dr.  Simpson's  ministry.  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk  assisted 
very  frequently,  especially  in  dispensing  the  ordinances. 

The  Eighth  Avenue  Mission  was  opened  in  1899  by 
Miss  May  Agnew,  the  Organization  Secretary  of  the  C. 
and  M.  A.  and  one  of  Dr.  Simpson's  most  devoted 
helpers.  Miss  Sarah  Wray,  of  England,  joined  her  soon 
afterwards  as  her  associate  and  since  Miss  Agnew's  mar- 
riage to  Rev,  H.  L.  Stephens  has  been  the  superintendent 
of  this  soul-saving  station  which  is  now  located  at  290 
Eighth  Avenue.  There  is  no  Mission  on  the  continent 
where  the  fullness  of  Christ  is  held  forth  to  sinners  with 
greater  power  and  attractiveness,  and  perhaps  no  other 
that  participates  so  actively  in  the  work  of  foreign  mis- 

Various  ministries  for  children  were  undertaken  quite 
apart  from  the  regular  Sunday  School  work  in  the  Taber- 
nacle and  missions.  Berachah  Orphanage  was  opened 
in  the  summer  of  1886  at  329  East  Fiftieth  Street  in 
answer  to  the  prayers  and  under  the  oversight  of  Mrs. 
O.  S.  Schultz,  who  afterwards  became  joint  superintend- 
ent with  Mr.  Schultz.  After  occupying  various  buildings 
in  New  York  the  Orphanage  was  located  at  College 
Point,  L,  I.,  the  property  being  purchased  through  a  gift 
by  Mr.  Joseph  Battin.  It  also  was  a  work  of  faith,  and 
like  all  such  had  many  testings.  The  first  came  almost 
immediately,  when  unsympathetic  state  officials  closed  it 
because  it  had  not  received  a  charter.  But  at  the  hearing 
the  opposing  party  inadvertently  read  a  clause  of  the 
law  which  gave  the  Commissioners  the  privilege  of  grant- 


ing  a  temporary  license,  and  that  very  day  the  children 
returned  to  the  Orphanage. 

The  Junior  Missionary  Alliance,  with  a  department 
known  as  the  King's  Lilies,  was  organized  in  1891,  with 
that  lover  of  children,  Dr.  Henry  Wilson,  as  president. 
Mrs.  A.  B.  Simpson,  the  treasurer,  and  Miss  E.  M.  Brick- 
ensteen,  the  secretary,  devoted  themselves  to  this  min- 
istry. A  unique  series  of  studies  for  children  on  the 
Fourfold  Gospel  and  Missions  were  prepared  and  widely 
circulated.  The  children's  meetings  at  the  great  summer 
conventions  are  still  a  feature  of  never  failing  interest, 
the  contributions  of  the  children  being  a  revelation  to 
many  a  wealthy  church  member  who  has  been  present  at 
their  jug  breaking. 

A  number  of  young  people's  meetings  and  societies 
grew  up,  among  which  were  the  Young  Ladies'  Christian 
Alliance,  commenced  in  a  small  prayer  meeting  at  the 
first  convention  at  Old  Orchard,  in  1886;  the  Young 
Ladies'  Christian  League,  organized  in  1891,  of  which 
Mrs.  C.  deP.  Field  was  the  leader;  and  the  Young  Men's 
Crusade.  During  recent  years  the  Young  People's  Al- 
liance has  been  a  very  vigorous  and  spiritual  work,  main- 
tained in  the  Tabernacle  by  the  younger  members.  Be- 
sides their  own  regular  meetings  they  carry  on  meetings 
on  the  street,  on  shipboard,  and  work  in  the  hospital. 
The  Young  People's  Association  in  the  Alliance  branches 
is  everywhere  characterized  by  intense  missionary  zeal. 

It  would  seem  that  no  one  life  could  support  so  many 
activities.  Yet  we  have  scarcely  mentioned  Dr.  Simp- 
son's literary  and  publication  work,  the  Missionary  Insti- 
tute, Berachah  Home  and  the  ministry  of  healing,  the 
great  conventions  with  their  distinctive  features,  nor  yet 
the  greatest  product  of  his  life,  The  Christian  and  Mis- 


sionary  Alliance.     These  are  so  distinct  and  important 
that  a  chapter  will  be  devoted  to  each  of  them. 

Into  few  lives  has  as  much  been  crowded  as  the  Spirit 
of  God  wrought  in  and  through  A.  B.  Simpson  in  the 
first  decade  of  this  larger  ministry.  Looking  back  over 
it,  his  own  heart  was  hushed  and  solemnized,  and  he  ex- 
pressed something  of  what  it  meant  to  himself  in  these 
verses : 

"And  what  has  the  decade  brought 
For  God,  and  man,  and  thee? 
O  Master,  sure  it  can  mean  to  none 
All  it  has  meant  to  me. 
O  blessed  years, 
Begun  with  fears. 
But  spanned  tonight 
With   rainbow  light 

For  all  eternity. 

"It  has  brought  the  richest  work  of  life. 
It  has  brought  His  healing  power; 
It   has   given   the   dearest   friends  of   earth 
And  countless  blessings  more. 
O  dear  Decade, 
Thy  light  and  shade 
Have  seemed  to  fall 
With  Christ  in  all 

A  joyful  memory." 



THERE  has  been  no  more  unique  feature  in  Dr.  Simp- 
son's ministry  than  the  conventions  which  he  and 
his  associates  have  conducted  in  many  parts  of  the 
world.  They  have  been  unlike  all  other  gatherings,  al- 
though partaking  of  many  of  the  essential  features  of  the 
usual  camp  meetings,  conferences,  and  conventions.  For 
one  of  the  elements  of  Dr.  Simpson's  genius  was  his 
ability  to  adapt  other  men's  methods  to  the  specific  aims 
and  objects  which  he  wished  to  attain.  The  fervor  of 
the  old  time  camp  ground,  the  sweet  fellowship  of  the 
Keswick  meetings,  the  strong  message  of  the  best  Bible 
conferences,  the  inspiration  of  prophetic  gatherings,  the 
aggressive  note  of  evangelistic  campaigns,  and  the  world 
vision  of  missionary  convocations — all  mingled  in  these 
conventions.  Saints  and  sinners  old  men  and  young  chil- 
dren, great  spiritual  leaders  and  babes  in  Christ — all  found 
their  portion  of  meat  at  this  table.  These  gatherings  were 
neither  dull  nor  sensational,  neither  formal  nor  without 
order,  neither  without  spiritual  freedom  nor  given  over 
to  demonstrative  extravagances.  They  were  a  puzzle  to 
the  professor  of  religious  psychology  and  an  enigma  to 
the  reporter,  but  to  the  hungry-hearted  they  were  a  feast, 
to  the  weary  a  refreshing,  to  the  sick  a  fountain  of  heal- 
ing, to  the  Christian  worker  an  inspiration,  and  to  the 
worn  missionary  a  haven  of  rest. 

The  convention  was  the  expression  of  Dr.  Simpson's 
very  life  and  personality.     His  simplicity,  his  humility, 


his  gracioLisness,  his  freedom,  his  brothediness,  his  deep 
insight  into  truth,  his  conservatism,  his  breadth  of  vision, 
his  passion,  and  his  supreme  devotion  to  Christ  seemed 
to  pervade  the  very  atmosphere  and  to  control  every 
meeting.  He  created  a  type  that  reproduced  itself  so  that 
in  the  hundreds  of  conventions  which  he  could  not  attend, 
the  same  spirit  wrs  manifest,  and  continues,  since  his 
homegoing,  in  these  great  gatherings. 

These  conventions  have  done  more  than  any  other  single 
agency,  except  Dr.  Simpson's  pen,  to  disseminate  the 
truth  which  he  so  loved  and  to  call  men  to  the  service  in 
which  his  own  life  burned  out.  Sometimes  critics  were 
won  by  the  atmosphere  and  the  spirit  which  he  mani- 
fested in  a  meeting  where  his  masterful  appeal  was  not 
heard.  A  lady  who  had  consistently  opposed  her  hus- 
band was  induced  to  attend  a  Canadian  convention.  Dr. 
Simpson  was  announced  as  the  principal  speaker  at  the 
afternoon  meeting,  but  his  train  was  late,  and  the  session 
was  nearly  over  when  he  arrived.  He  slipped  quietly  in 
at  the  side  door  and  with  bowed  head  took  a  seat  at  the 
rear  of  the  platform,  quite  unnoticed  by  the  chairman. 
The  gentleman  nudged  his  wife  and  said,  "That's  him." 
She  watched  him  for  a  moment,  and  then  her  eyes  fell. 
She  had  expected  to  see  some  assertive  demagogue,  and 
the  first  glance  revealed  to  her  a  man  with  the  spirit  of 
the  Man  of  Galilee.  He  had  won  a  friend  and  disciple. 
A  Presbyterian  minister  from  the  South,  who  was  at  Old 
Orchard,  received  a  letter  warning  him  against  the  the- 
ology of  the  Alliance.  "Bless  you,"  he  wrote  in  reply, 
"their  theology  is  all  gone  up  in  doxology." 

These  conventions  began  in  the  Twenty-third  Street 
Tabernacle  in  1884.  The  object  was  "to  gather  Chris- 
tians of  common  faith  and  spirit  for  fellowship;  to  study 

io6  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

the  Word  of  God ;  to  promote  a  deeper  spiritual  life 
among  Christians ;  to  seek  a  better  understanding  of  the 
teachings  of  the  Scriptures  respecting  our  physical  life  in 
Christ ;  to  wait  upon  the  Lord  for  a  special  baptism  of 
the  Holy  Spirit  for  life  and  service;  to  encourage  each 
other's  hearts  in  the  prospect  of  the  glorious  appearing 
of  the  Lord ;  and  to  promote  the  work  of  evangelization 
at  home  and  missions  abroad." 

At  the  second  annual  convention  in  the  Twenty-third 
Street  Tabernacle  the  speakers  included  Mrs.  Baxter,  of 
Bethshan,  London;  and  Mrs.  Stroud-Smith,  from  the 
Isle  of  Man;  Dr.  W.  S.  Rainsford  and  Dr.  Henry  Wilson, 
of  St,  George's  Protestant  Episcopal  Church,  New  York ; 
Dr.  John  E.  Cookman,  of  the  Bedford  Street  M.  E. 
Church,  New  York ;  Rev.  Kenneth  Mackenzie,  Jr.,  of 
the  Church  of  the  Holy  Trinity,  New  York;  Dr.  T.  C. 
Easton,  East  Orange,  N.  J. ;  Rev.  H.  W.  Brown,  Chicago ; 
Miss  Carrie  F.  Judd,  now  Mrs.  George  H.  Montgomery, 
Buffalo;  Rev.  Charles  H.  Gibbud;  Rev.  Jacob  Freshman, 
of  the  Jewish  Mission;  Josephus  Pulis ;  Captain  Lewis 
W.  Pennington  and  Evangelist  John  Currie  of  Brooklyn ; 
and  Henry  J.  Pierson,  of  Boston. 

This  second  convention  in  New  York  so  impressed 
Christian  workers  that  invitations  came  to  hold  similar 
meetings  in  the  largest  cities  on  the  continent.  The  first 
series  included  Brooklyn,  Buffalo,  and  Philadelphia  in 
October,  and  Pittsburgh,  Chicago,  and  Detroit  in  No- 
vember and  December,  1885.  Some  of  these  were  held 
in  large  halls  and  others  in  leading  city  churches  of  va- 
rious denominations.  In  spite  of  some  adverse  criticism, 
these  meetings  commended  themselves  to  a  wide  circle 
in  the  Church.  Rev.  Dr.  Spencer,  pastor  of  the  First 
Methodist  Church,  Chicago,  where  the  convention  was 


held,  wrote  indignantly  concerning  a  telegraphic  report  of 
those  meetings.  "I  have  been  very  greatly  pained  to  see  an 
extract  from  the  Detroit  Tribune  in  reference  to  the  con- 
vention held  here  by  yourself,  Dr.  Cookman,  and  others. 
It  is  a  scandalous  libel  and  slander  against  you  and  your 
associates.  I  am  not  a  believer  in  the  particular  doctrine 
of  healing  which  you  teach  and  did  not  sympathize  with 
the  anointing  service,  yet  I  want  the  more  to  be  fair  and 
candid.  While  many  were  not  friendly  to  the  convention, 
they  could  not  but  respect  the  decorum,  the  propriety,  the 
solemnity  of  the  services  and  especially  the  anointing 

The  Herald  and  Presbyter,  of  Cincinnati,  the  leading 
Presbyterian  journal  of  the  middle  West,  contained  the 
following  account  of  the  Pittsburgh  meetings.  "The 
Faith  Cure  Convention  which  was  held  in  Pittsburgh  drew 
both  through  curiosity  and  sympathy  a  goodly  number, 
and  excited  much  comment  especially  among  Christian 
believers.  There  was  no  question  of  the  sincerity  and 
integrity  of  character  of  the  more  prominent  leaders,  and 
the  testimony  of  those  who  declare  themselves  to  have 
been  healed  was  listened  to  with  great  interest  and  re- 
spect. This  is  not  the  place  to  enter  upon  a  discussion  of 
the  merits  of  this  special  phase  of  belief,  but  it  was  pleas- 
ant to  find  the  conference  so  entirely  evangelical  and  so 
full  of  Christ.  It  had  little  of  the  characteristics  which 
are  ordinarily  found  in  meetings  of  this  kind ;  and,  except 
for  the  ceremony  of  anointing  with  oil,  was  scarcely  un- 
usual in  any  way.  This  ceremony  naturally  excites  cu- 
riosity, yet  it  was  merely  an  evident  attempt  to  fulfil  the 
literal  counsel  of  James." 

In  the  same  kindly  spirit  the  Michigan  Christian  Advo- 
cate referred  to  the  meetings  in  the  Woodward  Avenue 

io8  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Congregational  Church,  Detroit.  "This  convention  was 
to  us  personally  a  feast  as  rare  as  it  was  refreshing.  All 
our  aversion  and  prejudice,  and  we  were  full  enough  of 
both,  disappeared  under  the  genial  and  irresistible  warmth 
of  their  ardent  faith  and  what  seemed  to  us  their  daring 
trust  in  God.  Cranks  they  may  be  in  the  popular  defini- 
tion, but  it  is  for  the  lack  of  just  such  crankiness  that 
the  Christian  Church  languishes  today.  If  conversion  to 
such  a  doctrine  involves  the  masterly  grasp  of  spiritual 
truth  and  that  sublime  nearness  to  God  in  prayer  which 
characterizes  these  people,  we  cannot  accept  it  too  soon 
or  too  strongly.  We  were  glad  of  at  least  one  conven- 
tion in  which  the  methods  of  pastors  and  the  failings  of 
the  Church  were  not  held  up  for  caustic  criticism  and 
biting  ridicule  and  in  which  there  was  a  genial  recogni- 
tion that  we  were  one  in  the  work  of  the  Master.  .  .  . 
There  was  noticeably  an  entire  discrediting  of  self.  The 
anointing  was  nothing;  their  agency  was  nothing;  Christ 
was  everything.  It  is  not  a  small  thing  to  have  their  faith 
and  realizing  sense  of  God's  immediate  presence  with 
them,  and  this,  they  claim,  was  an  integral  part  of  their 
healing.  They  have  their  health,  their  spiritual  elevation, 
and  their  keen  enjoyment  of  unceasing  labor  for  God. 
On  the  other  hand,  we  have  our  invincible  theories,  our 
conventional  piety,  our  unimpeachable  orthodoxy,  and 
our  doctor's  bills.     Ought  we  not  to  be  satisfied  ?" 

J  The  two  great  central  conventions  have  been  held  an- 
nually in  New  York  and  Old  Orchard  Beach,  Maine, 
where  in  1881  Mr.  Simpson  met  one  of  the  great  crises 
of  his  life  during  Dr.  Cullis'  convention.  Flalf  a  mile 
from  the  shore  there  is  a  grove  with  a  natural  amphi- 
theater. A  number  of  annual  religious  conventions  were 
held  on  this  ground.     Rev.  H.  Chase,  one  of  the  Camp- 

^     THE  NEW  YORK 

!TCLD£.X<(  foundations 














ground  directors,  attended  the  second  convention  in  the 
Twenty-third  Street  Tabernacle,  and  there  gave  this  testi- 
mony: "I  have  learned  here  to  receive  Christ  in  His  ful- 
ness as  never  before,  and  I  shall  go  home,  praising  Him 
for  a  finished  redemption,  to  live  out  His  Hfe  in  me  and 
serve  Him  with  all  my  heart.  I  cordially  invite  you  all 
to  Old  Orchard  next  summer  for  a  similar  convention." 
Later  an  earnest  request  came  from  the  directors  of  the 
Old  Orchard  Camp-ground  for  a  conference  for  Chris- 
tian Life,  Work,  and  Divine  Healing  to  be  held  for  ten 
days  in  the  summer  of  1886. 

The  first  Old  Orchard  convention  was  the  outcome  of 
these  invitations  and  was  held  August  3-10,  1886.  Among 
the  speakers  beside  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Simpson  were  Mr. 
W.  E.  Blackstone,  Chicago ;  Dr.  H.  L.  Hastings,  of  Bos- 
ton ;  Dr.  Henry  C.  McBride,  Ocean  Grove ;  George  B. 
Peck,  M.  D.,  Boston ;  Mrs.  Henry  Pierson,  Boston ;  Rev. 
John  Cookman,  D.D.,  Rev.  Dr.  Munger,  Rev.  A.  E. 
Funk,  Rev.  C.  N.  Kinney,  Mrs.  Henry  Naylor,  Mrs.  M. 
J.  Clark,  Mrs.  O.  S.  Schultz,  Miss  Sara  Lindenberger, 
and  Miss  Harriet  Waterbury. 

The  subject  of  missions  was  pressed  upon  this  con- 
vention. Mr.  Blackstone  delivered  an  epoch-marking  ad- 
dress on  Tibet,  the  last  great  stronghold  remaining  to  be 
captured  for  Christ.  Such  a  profound  impression  was 
made  that  steps  were  taken  to  organize  a  missionary  so- 
ciety to  carry  the  gospel  to  Tibet  and  other  unevangelized 
regions.  It  was  this  moving  of  God's  Spirit  at  the  first 
Old  Orchard  convention  which  resulted  in  the  world- 
girdling  missionary  movement  of  which  Dr.  Simpson  has 
been  the  leader.  At  the  second  convention  the  movement 
took  definite  form  in  the  organization  of  what  was  then 
called  The  Evangelical  Missionary  Alliance. 

no  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

The  early  days  of  August  have  ever  since  witnessed 
one  of  the  most  remarkable  religious  gatherings  of  modern 
times.  Dr.  Simpson  himself  always  gave  his  best  in  a 
series  of  addresses,  and  for  thirty-two  years  his  OM  Or- 
chard missionary  sermons  were  among  the  greatest  mis- 
sionary appeals  ever  delivered.  He  gathered  around  him 
on  this  platform  and  at  the  New  York  convention  the 
most  deeply  spiritual  leaders  and  missionaries  of  the 
world,  among  whom  were  Dr.  Andrew  Murray,  Dr. 
Baedeker,  Mr.  Henry  Varley,  Dr.  Harry  Guinness,  Dr. 
F.  B.  Meyer,  Dr.  J.  Hudson  Taylor,  Pastor  Stockmeyer, 
Dr.  John  Robertson,  Rev.  John  McNeill,  Rev.  Barclay 
Buxton,  Rev.  Charles  Inwood,  Pastor  F.  E.  Marsh,  Rev. 
D.  H.  Moore,  Rev.  Charles  Inglis,  Pastor  Joseph  Kemp, 
and  many  others  from  abroad  were  heard  from  time  to 
time.  The  list  of  Americans  would  fill  pages.  We  may 
mention  Dr.  A.  J.  Gordon,  Dr.  A.  T.  Pierson,  Dr.  H.  L. 
Hastings,  Dr.  R.  A.  Torrey,  Dr.  George  F.  Pentecost, 
Mr.  D.  L.  Moody,  Major  D.  W.  Whittle,  Major  J.  H. 
Cole,  Dr.  James  A.  Brookes,  Dr.  Ellinwood,  Mr.  W.  E. 
Blackstone,  Dr.  C.  I.  Scofield,  Dr.  Nathaniel  West,  Dr. 
F.  L.  Chapell,  Dr.  James  M.  Gray,  Dr.  Charles  A.  Blan- 
chard.  Dr.  J.  Wilbur  Chapman,  Dr.  Robert  Stuart  Mac- 
Arthur,  Rev.  Henri  De  Vries,  Dr.  Robert  Cameron,  Dr. 
D.  M.  Stearns,  Dr.  Robert  E.  Speer,  Dr.  J.  Campbell 
White,  Dr.  A.  C.  Dixon,  Dr.  W.  B.  Riley,  Dr.  Egerton 
Young,  Dr.  C.  C.  Morrison,  Rev.  Henry  Frost,  Rev.  Seth 
Rees,  Dr.  John  Oerter,  Colonel  Clark,  Dr.  Henry  C. 
Mabie,  Mr.  Charles  G.  Trumbull,  Colonel  Henry  Hadley, 
Mr.  Sam  Hadley,  Mrs.  Phoebe  Palmer,  Mrs.  Margaret 
Bottome,  and  Miss  Frances  E.  Willard.  This  does  not 
include  any  of  the  great  men  who  were  an  integral  part 
of  the  Alliance. 


Frequently  the  attendance  at  the  New  York  conven- 
tion overflowed  the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  and  the  services 
had  to  be  held  in  some  large  neighboring  theatre  or  in 
Carnegie  Hall. 

One  of  the  proofs  of  the  power  of  these  great  conver.- 
tions  was  the  attention  given  to  them  in  the  daily  press. 
Sometimes  a  whole  page  was  devoted  in  the  New  York 
and  Boston  papers  to  these  reports.  Cuts  caricaturing 
Dr.  Simpson  and  the  audience  and  burlesque  reports  of 
the  proceedings  frequently  appeared.  Occasionally,  how- 
ever, a  keenly  incisive  sketch  was  published.  Sometimes 
it  came  from  a  wholly  unexpected  source.  A  reporter 
from  the  Neiv  York  Journal  called  one  day  on  Mr.  Simp- 
son and  asked  him,  "Do  you  know  when  the  Lord  is 
coming?"  "Yes,"  replied  Mr.  Simpson,  "and  I  will  tell 
you  if  you  will  promise  to  print  just  what  I  say,  refer- 
ences and  all."  The  reporter's  notebook  was  out  in  a  mo- 
ment. "Then  put  this  down:  'This  gospel  of  the  king- 
dom shall  be  preached  in  all  the  world  for  a  witness  unto 
all  nations,  and  then  shall  the  end  come'  (Matt.  24:14). 
Have  you  written  the  reference?"  "Yes,  what  more?" 
"Nothing  more."  The  reporter  laid  down  his  pencil  and 
said,  "Do  you  mean  to  say  that  you  believe  that  when 
the  Gospel  has  been  preached  to  all  nations  Jesus  will 
return?"  "Just  that,"  said  Dr.  Simpson.  "Then,"  re- 
plied the  reporter,  "I  think  I  begin  to  see  daylight." 
"What  do  you  think  you  see?"  "Why,  I  see  the  motive 
and  the  motive-power  in  this  movement."  "Then,"  said 
Dr.  Simpson,  "you  see  more  than  some  of  the  doctors  of 
divinity."  And  the  next  morning  the  Journal  constitu- 
ency were  given  this  simple  dialogue  with  a  most  appre- 
ciative and  sympathetic  sketch  of  Dr.  Simpson  and  his 

112  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

The  conventions  in  other  cities  have  been  one  of  the 
great  outlets  for  the  testimony  of  the  Alhance.  Unnum- 
bered muhitudes  have  heard  the  message  who  otherwise 
would  never  have  been  touched  by  it.  Most  of  these  have 
remained  in  their  churches,  themselves  quickened  into 
new  Hfe  and  their  lives  empowered  for  hitherto  un- 
thought  of  service.  The  ministry  of  many  a  pastor  has 
been  transformed.  Hundreds  have  been  called  into  Chris- 
tian service  who  had  never  dreamed  of  such  a  life.  A 
brilliant  young  woman,  who  was  a  court  stenographer 
in  St.  Louis,  was  asked  to  report  a  convention  in  that 
city.  Thinking  it  was  a  medical  conference,  she  con- 
sented. She  was  amazed  when  Mr.  Simpson  rose  at  the 
beginning  of  the  first  meeting  and  said,  "Let  us  pray." 
She  was  unconverted,  but  the  Holy  Spirit  turned  her 
heart  to  search  after  eternal  realities,  and  before  the  year 
ended  she  had  accepted  Christ.  She  started  to  read  the 
Bible,  but  "could  not  make  head  or  tail  out  of  it,"  so  she 
went  to  the  Moody  Bible  Institute.  She  is  now  known 
the  world  around  as  Miss  Grace  Saxe,  Bible  teacher  of 
the  Torrey- Alexander  campaigns,  and  later  of  the  "Billy" 
Sunday  party. 

When  Mr.  Simpson  made  his  first  trip  to  Great  Britain 
during  his  Hamilton  pastorate,  he  went  as  a  tourist.  When 
he  returned  in  June,  1885,  he  was  the  most  prominent 
delegate  among  hundreds  from  various  lands  at  the 
Bethshan  Conference.  This  conference  brought  together 
representative  teachers  on  the  Deeper  Life  from  all  parts 
of  the  world,  some  of  the  principal  speakers  being  Dr. 
Simpson,  Pastors  Schrenk  and  Stocker,  of  Switzerland, 
and  Dr.  W.  E.  Boardman,  Robert  McKilliam,  M.  D.,  Mrs. 
M.  Baxter,  and  Mrs.  Katherine  Brodie,  of  London,  it 
began  in  Bethshan  Hall,  the  headquarters  of  the  work  of 


Dr.  and  Mrs.  Boardman,  but,  owing  to  the  large  attend- 
ance, Agricultural  Hall  was  secured. 

In  Liverpool  large  audiences  assembled  in  Hope  Hall 
where  at  one  of  the  meetings  more  than  eighty  persons 
were  anointed  for  healing.  Other  conventions  were  held 
in  Brighton,  Worthing,  Blackheath,  Newcastle  and  Edin- 

The  last  of  the  series  was  held  in  the  beautiful  Scot- 
tish capital.  Writing  of  this  meeting  Mr.  Simpson  said: 
"When  we  were  last  in  Edinburgh  fifteen  years  ago,  we 
were  received  with  cordial  kindness  and  hospitality  by 
the  Presbyterian  friends  in  the  great  Assembly  in  May, 
and  had  the  privilege  of  meeting  many  of  the  great  and 
good  men  of  that  Church,  and  even  speaking  in  the  Free 
Church  Assembly  Hall,  in  behalf  of  the  Presbyterian 
Church  in  Canada.  But  now  we  were  to  represent  a 
much  less  popular  interest.  Indeed,  we  were  to  stand 
under  the  suspicion  of  doubtful,  if  not  false  teaching." 

Many  ministers  and  medical  students  were  in  the  au- 
diences. At  the  first  meeting  a  medical  student  tried  to 
force  a  discussion  on  Divine  healing,  though  the  subject 
had  not  yet  been  mentioned.  The  medical  students  con- 
nected with  the  Edinburgh  Medical  Mission  were  deeply 
impressed  during  the  meetings  and  asked  for  a  private 
conference,  which  the  main  body  of  medical  students  at- 
tempted to  break  up,  but  the  wisdom  given  to  Dr.  Simp- 
son, Dr.  McKilliam,  and  the  other  leaders,  prevailed.  The 
series  of  conferences  made  a  deep  and  lasting  impression 
in  Great  Britain,  and  much  fruit  resulted  in  after  days. 

The  most  important  journey  abroad  in  Dr.  Simpson's 
ministry  was  his  tour  of  the  mission  fields  in  1893.  He 
left  New  York  in  January  for  Great  Britain  where  he  held 
important   conferences    with    missionary    secretaries,   in- 

114  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

eluding  Dr.  Hudson  Taylor  and  the  leaders  of  the  Church 
Missionary  Society,  addressed  a  number  of  large  gather- 
ings, and  renewed  precious  fellowships  with  English 

A  direct  journey  across  the  continent  and  the  Mediter- 
ranean, a  brief  visit  in  Cairo  and  other  Egyptian  towns, 
a  landing  through  the  breakers  at  Jaffa,  and  he  stood 
among  sacred  scenes.  His  brief  visit  to  the  Holy  Land 
was  one  of  the  sweetest  memories  of  his  life. 

"Sweet   Olivet,   sweet   Bethany, 
My    heart    shall    oft    remember    thee" 

is  a  couplet  from  one  of  several  beautiful  hymns  and 
poems  which  he  composed  during  that  visit.  He  was 
kindly  received  by  the  missionaries  of  other  societies  in 
Jerusalem  and  assisted  in  the  opening  services  of  the 
Mildmay  Mission  Hospital  at  Hebron,  then  under  the 
charge  of  Mrs.  Bowie,  of  England.  The  Alliance  had  no 
mission  in  Palestine  at  that  time,  but  Miss  Lucy  Dunn 
and  Miss  E.  J.  Robertson  had  been  in  Jerusalem  for  three 
years  supported  by  friends  of  the  Alliance.  On  Mr. 
Simpson's  return  to  New  York  the  Board  decided  to  take 
up  work  in  the  Land  of  our  Lord. 

The  latter  part  of  February  and  all  of  March  were 
spent  in  India,  visiting  and  encouraging  the  Alliance  mis- 
sions in  the  province  of  Berar,  under  the  leadership  of 
Rev.  and  Mrs.  M.  B.  Fuller,  and  in  a  rapid  survey  of  the 
work  of  other  societies  in  the  great  cities  of  India. 

As  Rangoon  and  Singapore  were  ports  of  call,  Dr. 
Simpson  was  permitted  to  touch  the  mission  work  in 
Burmah  and  the  Malay  Peninsula.  In  Hongkong,  then 
the  great  missionary  center  for  South  China ;  Canton,  the 
southern  mercantile  capital,  and  Macao,  where  Robert 


Morrison  landed  as  the  first  missionary  to  China,  he 
made  a  careful  Study  of  the  South  China  field,  where  a 
little  company  of  Alliance  missionaries  were  preparing 
for  the  great  pioneer  work  which  was  to  follow.  Similar 
studies  in  Central  China,  where  the  Alliance  had  estab- 
lished a  mission,  and  in  the  North,  where  Miss  Duow  and 
others  were  located  in  Pekin,  occupied  the  remainder  of 
his  two  months'  visit  to  this  great  empire.  He  had  not 
time  to  enter  Manchuria,  where  the  Swedish  Alliance 
Mission  had  been  begun  in  the  previous  year. 

Dr.  Simpson's  three  weeks'  journey  through  Japan  was 
arranged  by  Dr.  and  Mrs.  T.  Gulick  of  Kyoto,  the  an- 
cient capital,  who  afterward  took  the  oversight  of  the 
Alliance  work  then  in  its  inception  in  this  island  empire. 
On  July  /th  he  left  Yokohama  and,  after  a  call  in  the 
mid-Pacific  at  Honolulu,  reached  San  Francisco  and 
crossed  the  continent,  arriving  at  home  just  in  time  for  the 
Old  Orchard  Convention. 

In  all  the  countries  visited  Dr.  Simpson  was  warmly 
welcomed  by  other  missions.  He  addressed  numerous 
regular  gatherings  as  well  as  specially  arranged  meetings 
and  conferences,  and  gave  in  spiritual  blessing  quite 
as  much  as  he  gained  in  knowledge  of  the  mission  field. 

A  full  account  of  this  deputational  tour  was  published 
in  Larger  Outlooks  on  Missionary  Lands,  a  volume  which 
is  replete  with  information  about  the  lands  which  had 
been  visited. 

One  paragraph,  written  in  Japan,  touches  his  family 
history.  "From  across  the  great  seas  came  also  the  mes- 
sage that  our  own  dear  mother  had  just  gone  to  join  our 
revered  and  honored  father  in  the  home  above.  We 
thanked  our  Heavenly  Father  for  her  fourscore  years 
and  the  sweet  memory  of  her  life  and  love,  and  for  our 

ii6  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

dear  and  venerable  father,  who,  at  eighty-four,  had  just 
a  little  while  ago  passed  on  before.  How  much  of  the 
rich  blessing  that  has  crowded  our  life  is  due  to  their 
faithful  prayers!  Thank  God  for  their  precious  lives 
and  everlasting  memorial." 

In  January,  iQio,  Dr.  Simpson  left  New  York  for 
another  missionary  journey.  He  called  at  St.  Thomas 
in  the  West  Indian  Islands,  at  several  Brazilian 
cities,  spent  a  week  in  our  Argentine  missions,  sailed 
around  Cape  Horn,  visited  Chile  and  the  Alliance  mis- 
sions in  that  republic,  touched  Peru,  then  Ecuador,  where 
a  few  Alliance  missionaries  are  almost  alone  as  light- 
bearers  of  the  Gospel,  and  thence  journeyed  homeward  by 
way  of  Panama.  There  he  was  exposed  to  a  contagious 
fever  which,  but  for  answered  prayer,  would  have  sub- 
jected him  to  detention  in  the  pest  house.  He  felt  that 
it  had  been  permitted  to  enable  him  to  enter  more  fully 
into  the  testings  which  the  missionaries  endured  in  tropi- 
cal climates.  This  trip  so  greatly  enlarged  his  missionary 
vision  that  he  said  he  had  discovered  South  America. 

In  the  Spring  of  191 1  Dr.  Simpson  again  visited  Great 
Britain,  his  last  tour  abroad.  He  was  accompanied  by 
Dr.  R.  H.  Glover,  who  had  just  arrived  from  China  on 
furlough,  and  Pastor  F.  E.  Marsh,  of  Bristol,  England, 
who  had  arranged  a  series  of  conventions  extending  over 
a  period  of  nearly  three  months,  and  covering  nearly  all 
the  principal  cities  from  London  to  Dundee.  Dr.  Simp- 
son also  preached  in  many  of  the  large  churches  and  was 
welcomed  by  such  Christian  leaders  as  Dr.  F.  B.  Meyer, 
Dr.  R.  F.  Horton,  Rev.  Samuel  H.  Wilkinson,  Rev. 
Joseph  Kemp,  Rev.  W.  Graham  Scroggie,  Rev.  J.  Bar- 
clay Buxton,  Rev.  D.  H.  Moore,  Rev.  Cecil  Polhill-Turner, 
and  Mr.  Louis  P.  Nott.     Besides  this  series  of  conven- 


tions,  tlie  party  was  invited  to  participate  in  several  of 
the  well  known  stated  conventions  for  the  deepening  of 
the  spiritual  life. 

This  deputational  visit  added  thousands  to  the  friends 
which  Dr.  Simpson  had  already  made  in  Great  Britain. 
Nowhere  was  his  message  and  ministry  more  greatly  ap- 
preciated, and  he  received  pressing  invitations  to  return 
for  service  in  an  even  wider  sphere,  but  this  was  one  of 
the  many  calls  to  which  he  was  never  able  to  respond. 
The  reverence  so  manifest  in  British  audiences  and  the 
sincerity  evidenced  in  both  criticism  and  approbation 
found  a  responsive  chord  in  Dr.  Simpson's  heart,  and  he 
highly  prized  the  fellowship  of  the  large  circle  who  knew 
him  face  to  face  and  the  greater  number  to  whom  his 
writings  were  as  the  words  of  a  father  in  Israel. 



IT  is  evident  that  Albert  B.  Simpson,  like  Paul,  the 
apostle  to  the  Gentiles,  had  been  separated  from  his 
birth  unto  a  missionary  ministry.  His  mother  had  dedi- 
cated him  to  this  high  calling.*  When  he  was  a  few 
weeks  old,  he  was  baptized  by  the  Rev.  John  Geddie,  who 
was  on  the  eve  of  departure  to  Aneityum,  in  the  South 
Sea  Islands,  as  the  first  Canadian  missionary,  and  who 
consecrated  the  child  to  missionary  service.  In  sending 
out  this  pioneer,  the  Presbytery  of  Prince  Edward  Island 
laid  the  foundations  of  the  great  foreign  missionary  work 
of  the  Presbyterian  Church  in  Canada.  And  what  a  foun- 
dation !  The  epitaph  on  Geddie's  tomb  on  the  island  of 
Aneityum  reads:  "When  he  landed  in  1848,  there  were 
no  Christians;  when  he  left  in  1872,  there  were  no  heath- 
ens." In  the  passion  of  that  consecration  prayer  this 
missionary  apostle  begat  a  son  in  his  own  likeness. 

The  prayer  made  an  indelible  impression  on  John  Ged- 
die's memory.  When  on  furlough  twenty-one  years  after- 
ward, he  sought  out  James  Simpson  and  inquired  for  the 
boy  whom  he  had  dedicated.  On  being  informed  that  he 
was  preaching  in  Hamilton,  licensed  but  not  yet  ordained, 
Mr.  Geddie  immediately  visited  the  young  minister  and 
informed  him  that  in  his  baptism  he  had  been  devoted 
to  the  proclamation  of  the  Gospel. 

Another  great  missionary  hero  deeply  affected  his  life. 
His  sister  says,  "When  Albert  was  about  nine  years  of 

♦See  page  37   (M.   S.) 


age,  he  read  the  life  of  Rev.  John  Williams,  the  martyr 
missionary  of  Erromanga,  and  was  so  impressed  with  it 
that  he  devoted  himself  to  the  work  of  the  Lord,  and  he 
never  swerved  from  his  determination." 

It  may  have  been  John  Geddie  who  aroused  the  par- 
ents to  a  world  vision  of  the  Church's  work,  but  whatever 
the  cause,  the  Simpson  home  had  a  missionary  atmosphere. 
If  the  mother  consecrated  the  babe  to  telling  out  the 
story,  the  father  did  not  fail  to  lead  the  family  to  the 
throne  of  grace  for  their  friend  in  Aneityum  and  his  fel- 
lows on  the  outposts  of  service.  For  he  had  a  deep  in- 
terest in  missions.  One  of  Mr.  Simpson's  classmates,  who 
was  stationed  in  the  Presbytery  of  Chatham,  testifies 
that  James  Simpson,  the  representative  elder  of  his  con- 
gregation, was  one  of  the  missionary  forces  in  the  presby- 

The  call  of  a  waiting  world,  which  had  come  to  the 
lad,  was  not  lost  in  college;  and  when  Albert  Simpson 
graduated,  he  still  desired  to  offer  himself  to  the  Church 
for  its  foreign  service.  These  claims  and  the  calls  from 
important  home  centers  were  weighed,  and,  after  consul- 
tation with  his  betrothed,  the  invitation  to  Knox  Church, 
Hamilton,  was  accepted.  A  marked  increase  in  mission- 
ary interest  was  noted  in  that  congregation  during  his 

It  was  while  pastor  in  Louisville  that  the  crisis  came 
which  turned  the  whole  course  of  A.  B.  Simpson's  life. 
Part  of  that  upheaval  affected  his  relation  to  foreign 
missions.  He  had  gone  to  the  Believers'  Conference  at 
Watkins'  Glen  in  1878,  for  rest,  refreshing,  and  physical 
recuperation.  Mingled  with  the  teaching  of  the  deep 
things  of  God,  for  which  his  heart  was  hungering,  there 
was  a  strong  missionary  note  for  which  his  mind  and 

120  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

spirit  had  been  undergoing  a  long  course  of  preparation. 
He  left  the  conference  deeply  stirred,  and  went  west 
to  visit  friends  near  Chicago  for  further  rest  and  waiting 
on  God.  There  the  burden  of  a  Christless  world  was 
rolled  upon  him  by  the  Spirit  of  God.  In  a  sermon 
preached  in  August,  1894,  on  The  Macedonian  Cry,  he 
tells  how  the  vision  came  to  him. 

"Never  shall  I  forget  how,  eighteen  years  ago,  I  was 
awakened  one  night  from  sleep,  trembling  with  a  strange 
and  solemn  sense  of  God's  overshadowing  power,  and 
on  my  soul  was  burning  the  remembrance  of  a  strange 
dream  through  which  I  had  that  moment  come.  It 
seemed  to  me  that  I  was  sitting  in  a  vast  auditorium,  and 
millions  of  people  were  there  sitting  around  me.  All  the 
Christians  in  the  world  seemed  to  be  there,  and  on  the 
platform  was  a  great  multitude  of  faces  and  forms.  They 
seemed  to  be  mostly  Chinese.  They  were  not  speaking, 
but  in  mute  anguish  were  wringing  their  hands,  and  their 
faces  wore  an  expression  that  I  can  never  forget.  I  had 
not  been  thinking  or  speaking  of  the  Chinese  or  the 
heathen  world,  but  as  I  awoke  with  that  vision  on  my 
mind,  I  did  tremble  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  and  I  threw 
myself  on  my  knees,  and  every  fibre  of  my  being  an- 
swered, 'Yes,  Lord,  I  will  go.' 

"I  tried  for  months  to  find  an  open  door,  but  the  way 
was  closed,  and  years  afterward  God  showed  me  that 
He  had  laid  the  question  on  my  heart,  and  until  He  al- 
lowed me  to  go  forth,  if  I  ever  did,  I  was  to  labor  for 
the  world  and  the  perishing  heathen  just  the  same  as  if 
I  were  permitted  to  go  among  them." 

When  Mr.  Simpson  decided  to  turn  his  back  on  the 
inviting  prospect  of  an  ever  widening  ministry  at  home 
and  "depart  far  hence  unto  the  Gentiles,"  he  immediately 


wrote  to  Mrs.  Simpson,  telling  her  of  his  decision,  and 
asking  her  to  unite  with  him  in  this  new  consecration 
and  to  be  ready  to  go  with  their  children  to  China  as 
soon  as  the  way  opened.  The  missionary  vision  had  not 
yet  come  to  Mrs.  Simpson.  She  had  been  willing  to  leave 
her  loved  Canada  at  the  call  of  the  people  of  the  sunny 
South.  But  China !  Her  practical  nature,  her  mother 
instinct,  and  perhaps  her  womanly  ambition  for  her  bril- 
liant husband  all  answered  No.  Looking  back  on  it  all 
now,  she  herself  tells  the  story.  "I  was  not  then  ready 
for  such  a  sacrifice.  I  wrote  to  him  that  it  was  all  right 
— he  might  go  to  China  himself — I  would  remain  at  home 
and  support  and  care  for  the  children.  I  knew  that  would 
settle  him  for  a  while." 

He  did  not  lose  his  vision.     Not  for  others,  but  as  his 
heart's  deepest  expression  he  wrote, 

"To  the  regions  beyond  I  must  go, 

Where  the  story  has   never   been   told ; 
To  the   millions   that  never  have  heard   of   His   love, 
I  must  tell  the  sweet  story  of  old." 

Yet  in  the  light  of  what  has  come  to  pass,  no  one  can  now 
believe  that  the  Spirit  of  God  had  planned  a  place  for 
him  in  China.  The  Lord  of  the  Harvest  had  larger 
designs,  a  mightier  ministry  for  this  man  whose  life  He 
had  been  moulding  from  his  birth.  First  of  all,  how- 
ever, his  heart  must  go  to  the  ends  of  the  earth  to  be 
chained  there  in  endless  bondage  to  the  cry  of  the  un- 
evangelized  millions  of  heathen  lands,  of  the  Moslem 
world,  aye,  and  of  the  scattered  and  peeled  sons  of  Israel. 
Hence  his  enthralled  heart  was  ever  singing  his  own 
plaintive  song: 

"A   hundred   thousand   souls   a   day 
Are  passing  one   by  one  away, 

122  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

In  Christless  guilt  and  gloom. 

Without  one  ray  of  hope  or  light, 
With  future  dark  as  endless  night, 

They're  passing  to  their  doom." 

Mrs.  Simpson  is  our  authority  for  saying  that  it  was 
this  cry  from  heathen  lands,  rather  than  the  call  of  the 
metropolis  with  its  unevangelized  multitudes,  that  de- 
cided him  to  accept  a  pulpit  in  New  York.  He  wanted 
to  be  at  the  centre,  in  touch  with  the  lines  radiating  to 
the  ends  of  the  earth.  Moreover  he  had  a  well  matured 
plan  for  an  illustrated  Missionary  Monthly,  and  with  that 
unerring  instinct  which  so  often  led  him  to  the  right  trail, 
he  knew  that  such  an  enterprise  should  be  launched  in 
New  York. 

It  was  a  daring  proposal.  He  was  laughed  at  alike 
by  publishers  and  missionary  leaders.  They  did  not  know 
that  a  new  force  had  appeared,  who,  like  every  leader, 
was  a  decade  or  two  ahead  of  his  times.  He  pursued 
his  purpose,  and  though  he  broke  physically  and  men- 
tally under  the  strain,  The  Gospel  in  All  Lands  was 
established,  and  in  other  hands  remained  for  years  the 
pioneer  and  pattern  of  illustrated  missionary  periodicals. 

There  was  a  charm  about  his  presentation  of  the  mis- 
sionary claim  that  appealed  alike  to  young  and  old.  He 
was  so  in  love  with  his  Master's  plan  for  the  redemption 
of  the  world  that  he  never  failed  to  make  it  appear  fas- 
cinating and  arresting.  Dr.  Harlan  P.  Beach,  Professor 
of  Missions  in  Yale  University,  said:  "Do  not  forget  to 
mention  as  one  of  his  great  achievements  the  institution 
of  a  pictorial  review.  Dr.  Simpson  was  the  first  to  make 
the  missionary  story  beautiful  and  attractive."  No 
keener  judgment  was  ever  passed  upon  his  ministry. 

The  great  battle  cry  of  th^  Student  Volunteer  Move- 


ment  has  been  The  Evangelization  of  the  World  in  This 
Generation.  John  R.  Mott  said  truly,  "No  other  genera- 
tion but  ours  can  evangelize  the  present  generation,"  and 
years  ago  Robert  E.  Speer  boldly  defended  the  evident 
premillennial  viewpoint  of  the  watchword.  Both  of  these 
aspects,  responsibility  and  immediacy,  were  marked  in 
Dr.  Simpson's  conception  of  our  relation  to  missions.  In 
one  of  his  too  little  read  books,  The  Christ  of  the  Forty 
Days,  he  states  this  with  his  usual  incisiveness.  "It  is  a 
very  simple  and  a  very  awful  responsibility,  and  looking 
in  the  face  of  every  one  of  us,  the  Master  simply  asks, 
'Are  you  going  to  do  what  I  tell  you,  or  not  ?'  There  is 
no  possibility  of  evasion.  He  simply  says,  'Go  ye,'  and 
we  must  go  or  disobey."  And  again — "Unless  I  am  sure 
I  am  doing  more  at  home  to  send  the  Gospel  abroad  than 
I  can  do  abroad,  I  am  bound  to  go;  and  if  He  wants  m.e, 
I  am  ready  to  go  whenever  He  calls  and  makes  it  plain. 
This  and  this  alone  is  the  attitude  of  fidelity  on  the  part 
of  each  of  us  to  this  sacred  word  of  our  departing  Lord." 
To  him  the  immediacy  of  the  need  arose,  not  merely 
from  our  responsibility  to  the  men  of  our  own  generation, 
but,  even  more,  from  the  plan  of  God  for  the  working 
out  of  the  salvation  of  all  mankind.  He  believed  that 
God  is  visiting  the  nations,  "to  take  out  of  them  a  people 
for  His  name,"  and  that, 

"After  these  things  I  will  return, 
And  I  will  build  again  the  tabernacle  of  David  which  is  fallen; 
That  the  residue  of  men  may  seek  after  the  Lord, 
And  all  the  Gentiles,  upon  whom  my  name  is  called, 
Saith  the  Lord,  who  maketh  these  things  known  from  of  old." 

(Acts  15:16-18.) 

This  links  missions  inseparably  with  the  second  coming 
of  our  Lord.  It  was  this  point  of  approach  that  made 
Dr.  Simpson's  teaching  of  the  Second  Coming  so  whole- 

124  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

some  and  practical,  and  missionary  work  a  service  of 
love  to  our  coming  King. 

His  great  missionary  text  was  Matthew  24:14,  "And 
this  gospel  of  the  kingdom  shall  be  preached  in  all  the 
world  for  a  witness  unto  all  nations ;  and  then  shall  the 
end  come."  He  firmly  believed  that  this  is  the  business 
of  the  Church  during  this  dispensation  and  a  necessary 
preparation  for  the  coming  of  the  Lord.  In  an  early 
number  of  Word,  Work  and  World,  he  wrote:  "The 
last  great  missionary  movement  therefore  will  be  a  uni- 
versal proclamation  of  the  Gospel  of  the  Kingdom.  Is 
this  the  ordinary  Gospel  Message?  Or  is  it  a  special 
proclamation  of  the  Advent  and  the  reign  of  Jesus? 
Young  translates  it,  'this  Gospel  of  the  reign.'  It  is  the 
midnight  cry,  'Behold  the  bridegroom  cometh,  go  ye  out 
to  meet  him.'  Already  it  is  beginning  to  sound  over 
Christian  nations.  But  it  is  a  cry  which  the  heathen 
must  hear,  and  which  will  awake  the  slumbering  nations 
as  no  other  call." 

This  affected  his  ideal  for  the  Church.  He  expressed  it 
forcefully  in  a  paragraph  already  quoted  from  his  address 
at  the  opening  of  the  new  church  edifice  in  Louisville.  His 
heart  was  gladdened  as  he  saw  his  ideal  becoming  a  real- 
ity in  the  Gospel  Tabernacle.  That  work  was  born  with 
a  missionary  passion.  When  it  was  a  year  old,  it  formed 
a  missionary  society,  and,  in  its  second  year,  it  sent  five 
of  its  members  to  the  Congo.  When  it  moved  to  the 
Madison  Avenue  Tabernacle,  the  pastor  was  able  to  say 
in  his  opening  sermon,  "I  am  glad  this  church  has  eome 
members  today  in  India,  though  it  is  a  little  church  of 
only  four  or  five  years'  birth.  I  am  glad  it  has  some 
members  in  Central  Africa  today,  some  in  England,  and 
some  in  almost  every  state  in  the  Union.    Oh,  I  trust  the 


day  will  come  when  we  shall  count  them  by  thousands  in 
foreign  lands.  I  believe  the  greatest  purpose  of  God  in 
sending  us  here,  next  to  preparation  for  His  coming,  is 
to  send  the  Gospel  everywhere." 

No  leader  ever  saw  his  ideal  embodied  in  a  movement 
more  perfectly  than  Dr.  Simpson's  missionary  passion 
has  been  reproduced  in  his  followers.  The  Alliance 
Branches  may  sometimes  have  neglected  to  provide  ade- 
quately for  their  superintendents,  but  they  have  never 
failed  when  the  missionary  offering  was  called  for.  The 
leaders  themselves  may  be  straitened,  but  no  personal  need 
ever  prevents  an  Alliance  worker  from  pressing  the  mis- 
sionary appeal.  The  pledges  received  at  the  local  annual 
conventions  are  even  more  of  a  marvel  to  the  public  which 
observes  them  than  the  first  great  offerings  were  at  Old 
Orchard  and  New  York  City.  The  only  explanation  that 
can  be  offered  is  that  which  Dr.  Simpson  gave  to  a  re- 
porter of  the  Syracuse  Herald:  'Tut  this  down,"  he  said, 
"our  people  love  to  give."  "Yes,"  said  the  reporter,  'T 
have  it.  What  more?"  "That  is  all,"  replied  Dr.  Simp- 
son. And  when  the  reporter  witnessed  the  manner  in 
which  the  offering  was  made,  he  had  to  admit  that, 
strangely  enough,  the  people  seemed  to  love  it. 

It  was  no  desire  to  lead  a  movement  that  induced  Dr. 
Simpson  to  organize  the  Christian  and  Missionary  Al- 
liance. Here  is  his  own  statement  of  the  principles  which 
should  guide  in  such  an  undertaking.  "No  new  society 
should  be  organized  to  do  what  is  already  being  done  by 
some  other  society.  If  there  is  some  new  principle  to  be 
worked  out,  some  new  method  to  be  proved,  some  new 
agency  to  be  employed,  or  some  wholly  unoccupied  region 
to  be  reached,  it  is  all  right  to  attempt  it,  provided  the 
movement  is  wisely  planned  and  carried  out  by  experi- 

126  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

enced  and  consecrated  men.  But  simply  to  repeat  what 
is  being  done  somewhere  else,  or  to  start  a  new  society 
because  Hudson  Taylor,  Dr.  Guinness,  Andrew  Murray, 
or  somebody  else  has  started  a  society,  will  simply  prove 
like  the  echo  of  the  parrot's  voice  as  it  tries  to  repeat  the 
empty  sound  that  has  fallen  upon  its  ear." 

The  foregoing  is  the  negative,  but  here  is  a  positive 
word  with  reference  to  The  Evangelical  Missionary  Al- 
liance, as  the  society  organized  was  first  named.  "The 
Evangelical  Missionary  Alliance  has  been  formed  as  a 
humble  and  united  effort  on  the  part  of  consecrated 
Christians,  in  all  parts  of  the  land  and  world,  to  send  the 
Gospel  in  its  simplicity  and  fullness,  by  the  most  spiritual 
and  consecrated  instrumentalities,  and  the  most  economi- 
cal, practical,  and  effectual  methods,  to  the  most  needy, 
neglected,  and  open  fields  of  the  heathen  world." 

There  was  no  "at  home  and  abroad"  in  Dr.  Simpson's 
conception  of  missions.  When  he  lifted  up  his  eyes  on 
the  fields,  they  were  everywhere  white  unto  the  harvest. 
To  him  the  multitudes  of  New  York  and  our  great 
American  continent  were  as  sheep  without  a  shepherd, 
just  as  were  the  vaster  multitudes  in  the  deeper  darkness 
of  heathen  lands.  He  was  never  happier  or  more  effec- 
tive than  when  doing  the  work  of  an  evangelist,  and  in 
the  last  year  of  his  life,  when  unequal  to  public  minis- 
try, he  would  be  found  at  the  altar  tenderly  winning  and 
mightily  interceding  for  souls.  The  missionary  conven- 
tions under  his  direction  always  gave  a  large  place  to 
evangelism.  His  ideal  for  the  Missionary  Institute  was 
that  it  should  be  a  training  school  for  effective  witnesses 
in  our  own  land  and  in  the  regions  beyond.  He  expected 
the  same  spirit  of  sacrifice  from  those  who  remained  at 
home,  whether  in  definitely  appointed  Christian  work  or 


as  witnesses  at  their  daily  tasks,  as  is  manifested  in  our 
missionaries,  and  the  crowning  glory  of  his  leadership 
was  that  this  ideal  was  attained.  The  whole  Alliance 
echoes  his  song, 

"We  all  are  debtors  to  our  race ; 

We  all  are  bound  to  one  another; 
The  gifts  and  blessings  of  His  grace 

Were  given  thee  to  give  thy  brother ; 
We  owe  to  every  child  of  sin 

One   chance,   at   least,    for   hope   of   heaven ; 
Oh,  by  the  love  that  brought  us  in. 

Let  help  and  hope  to  them  be  given. 

"No  more  noble  monument  to  the  beloved  founder  of 
The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance,  and  its  leader 
through  the  more  than  thirty  years  of  world-wide  ser- 
vice, could  possibly  be  erected  than  that  already  reared 
in  heathen  lands,  bearing  evidence  to  the  fact  that  Dr. 
Simpson  was  true  to  God,  true  to  the  vision  which  God 
gave  him  of  missionary  work  in  many  lands,  and  true 
to  the  message  of  the  fullness  of  Christ  which  was  to 
be  proclaimed."  In  these  words  Rev.  Alfred  C.  Snead, 
Assistant  Foreign  Secretary,  expressed  the  thought  in 
many  minds  as  they  reviewed  the  life  of  this  man  of 
God.  Dr.  Glover,  with  his  graphic  pen,  will  sketch  this 
monument.  One  day  we  shall  all  see  it.  Faces  brown 
and  black,  yellow  and  white,  are  being  built  into  it — liv- 
ing stones,  chosen  and  chiseled  after  the  Master  Build- 
er's pattern.  Some  one  of  Dr.  Simpson's  spiritual  chil- 
dren may  find  the  last  stone  in  some  yet  closed  field,  and 
then  the  King  Himself  will  come. 




MR.  SIMPSON'S  second  trip  to  Great  Britain  was 
made  in  response  to  an  invitation  to  take  part  in 
an  international  convention  which  had  been  called  by 
Dr.  W.  E.  Boardman,  to  meet  at  Bethshan,  London,  in 
June,  1885,  at  which  delegates  were  present  represent- 
ing many  of  the  forward  movements  and  associations 
for  the   deepening   of   spiritual  life  in   all  parts   of   the 


This  gathering  strengthened  Mr.  Simpson's  conviction 
that  the  time  was  ripe  for  an  association  of  believers  in 
the  fullness  of  the  Gospel.  An  editorial  in  Word,  Work 
and  World  in  October  of  that  year  speaks  of  the  need 
of  "A  Christian  Alliance  of  all  those  in  all  the  world 
who  hold  in  unison  the  faith  of  God  and  the  gospel 
of   full  salvation." 

In  the  Year  Book  of  the  Christian  AUiance  for  1893 
Mr.  Simpson  stated  the  platform  and  purposes  of  this 
organization  which  later  became  The  Christian  and  Mis- 
sionary  Alliance. 

"The  Christian  Alliance  was  organized  in  the  summer 
of  1887  at  Old  Orchard  convention  for  the  purpose  of 
uniting  in  Christian  fellowship  and  testimony  in  a  purely 
fraternal  Alliance  the  large  number  of  consecrated 
Christians  in  the  various  evangelical  churches  who  be- 
lieve in  the  Lord  Jesus  as  Saviour,  Sanctifier,  Healer, 
and  Coming  Lord.  It  seemed  to  very  many  that  there 
was  a  divine  necessity  for  a  special  bond  of  fellowship 


among  those  who  were  being  thus  simultaneously  called 
into  closer  intimacy  with  our  coming  Lord  in  order  that 
we  might  give  a  more  emphatic  testimony  to  these  great 
principles  which  might  well  be  called  at  this  time  'Pres- 
ent truths,'  that  we  might  encourage  and  strengthen  each 
others'  hearts  by  mutual  fellowship  and  prayer,  and 
that  we  might  unite  in  various  forms  of  aggressive  work 
to  give  wider  proclamation  to  these  truths  and  prepare 
for  the  coming  of  our  Lord.  With  this  view  the  Al- 
liance was  formed  and  founded  upon  the  special  basis 
of  the  Fourfold  Gospel  as  above  expressed.  In  all  other 
respects  and  with  reference  to  all  other  doctrines  its  at- 
titude is  strictly  evangelical. 

*Tt  is  not  an  ecclesiastical  body  in  any  sense,  but 
simply  a  fraternal  union  of  consecrated  believers  in 
connection  with  the  various  evangelical  churches.  It  does 
not  organize  distinct  churches  or  require  its  members  to 
leave  their  present  church  connections.  There  is  no  an- 
tagonism whatever  in  the  Alliance  to  any  of  the  evange- 
lical churches,  but  a  desire  to  help  them  in  every  proper 
way  and  to  promote  the  interest  of  Christ's  kingdom  in 
connection  with  every  proper  Christian  organization  and 
work.  Its  organization  is  extremely  simple,  consisting 
of  a  central  executive  Board  in  New  York,  incorporated 
under  the  laws  of  the  state  with  auxiliaries  and  branches 
in  the  various  centers  of  population." 

Any  Christian  could  become  a  member  of  the  Chris- 
tian Alliance  by  signing  this  simple  creed :  *T  beHeve  in 
God  the  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost,  in  the  verbal  in- 
spiration of  the  Holy  Scriptures  as  originally  given,  in 
the  vicarious  atonement  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  in  the 
eternal  salvation  of  all  who  believe  in  Him,  and  the  ever- 
lasting punishment  of  all  who  reject  Him.     I  believe  in 


the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  as  my  Saviour,  Sanctifier,  Healer, 
and  Coming  Lord." 

Where  a  group  of  members  existed,  they  formed  a 
local  branch  of  the  Alliance  with  stated  monthly  or 
weekly  meetings  and  in  some  places  a  local  superintend- 
ent. A  number  of  such  branches  constituted  a  state 
auxiliary  with  regularly  appointed  officers,  of  whom  the 
state  superintendent  was  the  active  head.  A  group  of 
states  formed  a  district,  under  a  district  superintendent. 
The  superintendents  were  voluntary  or  honorary  work- 
ers, but,  as  the  movement  progressed,  it  became  neces- 
sary for  many  of  them  to  devote  their  entire  time  to 
this  ministry.  The  faith  principle  was  carried  out,  the 
central  organization  contributing  nothing  to  the  support 
of  these  workers,  though  in  later  years  state  and  district 
superintendents  have  been  granted  a  small  allowance  to 
assist   them  in  the  work. 

Rev.  E.  J.  Richards,  Home  Superintendent  of  the 
Society,  gives  this  summary  of  the  organized  work: 
"At  the  present  time  there  are  between  three  and  four 
hundred  branches  and  connected  churches  in  the  United 
States  and  Canada.  There  are  twenty  officers  known  as 
secretaries  or  department  heads,  district  superintendents 
and  field  evangelists.  About  two  hundred  located  pastors 
and  local  superintendents,  twenty-five  evangelists  devot- 
ing their  whole  time  to  revival  campaigns,  and  fifty  to 
seventy  students  of  both  sexes  from  the  Bible  schools, 
who  are  pouring  out  their  lives  in  the  neglected  sections 
of  the  home  field,  winning  souls  for  Jesus  and  getting 
splendid  training  for  aggressive  work  in  the  regions  be- 

At  the  Old  Orchard  Convention  in  1887  a  missionary 
organization  known  as  The  Evangelical  Missionary  Al- 


liance  was  also  effected.     The  Principles  and  Constitu 
tion  then  adopted  are  so  fundamental  to  The  Christir/.n 
and   Missionary   Alliance   that  a   synopsis  is  given. 

It  will  be  undenominational  and  strictly  evange- 

It  will  contemplate  the  rapid  evangelization  of 
the  most  neglected  sections  of  the  foreign  mission 

It  will  use  thoroughly  consecrated  and  qualified 
laymen  and  Christian  women  as  well  as  regularly 
educated   ministers. 

It  will  encourage  the  principles  of  rigid  economy, 
giving  no  fixed  salaries. 

It   will   rely   upon   God   to   supply   the   necessary 
means  through  the  freewill  offerings  of  His  people. 
It    will    endeavor    to   educate    Christians    to    sys- 
tematic and  generous  giving  for  this  greatest  work 
of  the  Church  of  God. 

It  will  form  auxiliaries  and  bands  in  all  parts  of 
the  country  for  the  promotion  and  extension  of  its 

It  will  be  governed  by  a  board  of  directors  elected 
annually,  who  shall  appoint  and  direct  the  mission- 
aries employed. 

It  will  leave  each  church  established  on  the  for- 
eign field  free  to  organize  and  administer  its  affairs 
as   it   may   choose,  provided  that   such   method   be 
scriptural  in  its  essential  features. 
In  November,   1889,  after  conference  with   friends  in 
Canada,  this  missionary  society  was  incorporated  as  The 
International    Missionary    Alliance.      Dr.    Simpson   was 
the  General  Secretary  of  the  Board,  and  upon  him  fell 
most  of  the  executive  and  administrative  duties  for  sev- 

132  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

eral  years.  David  Crear,  a  successful  business  man  of 
New  York  City,  was  Treasurer,  and  has  ever  since  given 
his  services  freely  in  that  ofifice,  devoting  much  of  his 
time  and  a  large  portion  of  his  income  to  the  Alliance 

The  International  Missionary  Alliance  was  supported 
chiefly  through  the  Christian  Alliance,  and  the  two  so- 
cieties were  virtually  one  in  purpose  and  in  constituency. 
Consequently  in  1897  they  were  united  formally  and 
legally  under  the  name  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary 
Alliance.  Rev.  A.  B.  Simpson  was  elected  President 
and  General  Superintendent ;  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk,  Secre- 
tary;  David  Crear,  Treasurer;  and  Mrs.  A.  B.  Simpson, 
Financial  Secretary.  There  was  also  a  Board  of  Mana- 
gers consisting  of  twenty-four  members,  including  the 
above  named  officers.  This  amalgamation  not  only 
simplified  the  management  but  also  brought  the  home 
and  foreign  fields  into  even  a  closer  relationship,  and  The 
Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance  has  been  in  a  unique 
way  a  foreign  missionary  institution.  Its  local  workers 
at  home  are  never  heard  appealing  for  their  personal 
support,  but  there  are  no  more  earnest  advocates  for 
foreign  missions.  The  Alliance  conventions  have  been, 
if  possible,  even  more  missionary  in  spirit  than  formerly, 
and  the  climax  of  every  convention  is  the  missionary 

The  increasing  demands  on  the  administration  and  the 
necessity  for  fuller  supervision  of  the  home  work  re- 
sulted in  a  revision  of  the  constitution  at  the  Annual 
Council  in  May,  1912.  Without  interfering  with  the 
duties  of  the  executive  officers,  departments  were  created, 
each  with  an  executive  secretary.  These  include  the 
Finance  Department ;  the  Home  Department,  which  has 


supervision  over  all  of  the  work  in  America;  the  Foreign 
Department,  which  directs  the  different  missions  abroad ; 
the  Deputation  Department,  which  has  charge  of  mission- 
ary literature  and  deputations ;  the  Publication  Depart- 
ment, which  is  responsible  for  the  preparation  and  issuing 
of  books  and  periodicals;  and  the  Educational  Depart- 
ment, which  has  general  supervision  over  the  Training 
Institutes  in  the  United  States  which  are  recognized  by 
the  Board.  This  system  of  administration  has  proven 
to  be  a  great  blessing  to  the  work  and  relieved  the  pres- 
sure which  was  overwhelming  the  executive  officers. 

It  is  doubtless  largely  on  account  of  this  increased 
attention  to  details  that  the  society  has  had  a  perhaps 
unequalled  record  in  the  fearful  years  of  testing  during 
the  great  world  war.  Although  allowances  have  been 
greatly  increased  owing  to  the  higher  cost  of  living,  and 
the  demands  for  transportation  and  expenses  on  the 
fields  have  been  nearly  doubled,  it  has  been  possible  to 
appropriate  full  allowances  every  month  since  1914  and 
to  remit  all  necessary  expenditures  for  station  work.  The 
native  staff  has  been  increased,  new  stations  opened, 
buildings  erected,  and  a  score  or  more  of  missionary 
recruits  added  each  year. 

The  principles  upon  which  the  Alliance  is  organized 
were  the  expression  of  Dr.  Simpson's  own  convictions 
and  attitude.  From  the  outset  he  deprecated  every  ten- 
dency to  separativeness  from  other  Christians  either  in 
spirit  or  in  organization.  Yet  he  saw  that  unless  great 
wisdom  and  much  Christian  forbearance  were  shown  on 
the  part  of  the  Alliance  leaders  and  teachers,  a  line  of 
cleavage  would  almost  imperceptibly  appear,  and  the  so- 
ciety would  tend  in  the  direction  of  sectarianism.  He 
used  constant  vigilance  and  much  wise  diplomacy  to  pre- 

134  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

vent  any  of  his  associates  from  departing  from  the  vision 
which  had  been  given  of  the  work.  With  pen  and  with 
voice  he  frequently  restated  the  stand  originally  taken. 
In  the  Alliance  Weekly  for  November  nth,  1899,  he 
had  this  to  say  on  the  mission  of  the  Alliance : 

"Let  us  never  forget  the  special  calling  of  our  Alliance 
work.  It  is  not  to  form  a  new  religious  denomination. 
It  is  not  to  duplicate  a  work  already  done.  It  is  not  to 
advocate  any  special  system  of  theology.  It  is  not  to 
glorify  any  man  or  men.  It  is  first  to  hold  up  Jesus  in 
His  fullness,  'the  same  yesterday,  today,  and  forever.' 
Next,  to  lead  God's  hungry  children  to  know  their  full 
inheritance  of  privilege  and  blessing  for  spirit,  soul,  and 
body.  Next,  to  witness  to  the  imminent  coming  of  the 
Lord  Jesus  Christ  as  our  millennial  King.  And  finally, 
to  encourage  and  incite  the  people  of  God  to  do  the  neg- 
lected work  of  our  age  and  time  among  the  unchurched 
classes  at  home  and  the  perishing  heathen  abroad.  God 
will  bless  us  as  we  are  true  to  this  trust." 

Again,  we  find  him  writing  in  the  same  organ  in  1912: 
"While  the  Alliance  movement  to  a  certain  extent  is  un- 
avoidably a  self-contained  organization  and  requires  a 
sufficient  amount  of  executive  machinery  to  hold  it  to- 
gether and  make  it  effective,  yet  we  must  never  forget 
that  it  has  a  certain  interdenominational  message  for  the 
Christian  Church  today  and  that  this  ministry  must  not 
be  clouded  by  any  narsow  sectarian  tendencies  that  would 
alienate  the  sympathy  of  those  in  the  churches  that  are 
open  to  our  message.  There  are  cases  continually  arising 
where  it  is  necessary  to  provide  special  and  permanent 
religious  privileges  for  little  bands  of  Christian  disciples 
who  have  either  been  converted  in  some  evangelistic 
movement  or  pushed  out  of  their  churches  by  false  teach- 


ing  and  harsh  pressure  and  prejudice.  Yet  these  local 
and  independent  congregations  should  never  be  considered 
as  Alliance  churches  in  any  technical  sense,  but  simply 
independent  movements  which  God  Himself  has  specially 
raised  up  'through  the  present  distress'  and  over  which 
we  exercise  for  the  time  a  certain  spiritual  oversight." 

Dr.  Simpson  always  maintained  the  distinction  between 
an  Alliance  branch  and  an  independent  church.  Replying 
in  an  issue  of  The  Alliance  Weekly  of  1913  to  a  corre- 
spondent who  asks  whether  it  is  consistent  for  Alliance 
branches  to  dispense  ordinances,  receive  and  dismiss 
church  members,  and  perform  other  church  functions, 
he  said :  "The  acts  and  functions  referred  to  are  entirely 
proper  on  the  part  of  an  independent  church  which  may 
be  affiliated  with  the  Alliance,  but  are  not  consistent  in  a 
regular  Alliance  branch.  The  same  company  of  people 
may  have  a  double  organization.  They  may  be  on  the 
one  hand  a  church  organized  and  properly  legalized  under 
an  independent  charter,  and  as  such  be  in  fellowship  with 
the  Alliance,  but  entirely  controlling  their  own  property 
and  worship.  At  the  same  time  many  members  of  this 
congregation  or  church  may  be  united  in  an  Alliance 
branch  which  enjoys  the  hospitality  of  the  church.  This 
is  the  case  with  the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  New  York  City, 
the  oldest,  perhaps,  of  these  independent  churches." 

So,  too,  Dr.  Simpson  never  swerved  from  his  deter- 
mination to  hold  the  movement  true  to  the  great  funda- 
mentals of  the  Gospel,  and  to  insist  that  healing  and  other 
phases  of  the  testimony  be  kept  in  a  properly  subordi- 
nate place.  In  the  report  of  the  dedication  of  the  Mid- 
way Tabernacle,  St.  Paul,  the  headquarters  of  the  work 
of  District  Superintendent  Rev.  J.  D.  Williams,  on  Dr. 
Simpson's  last  deputational  tour  in  December,  1917,  this 

136  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

statement  appears :  "He  took  occasion  to  emphasize  in 
the  strongest  possible  way  the  fact  that  the  primary  ob- 
jective of  the  Alliance  movement  was  not  the  teaching 
of  special  doctrines,  but  the  salvation  of  souls  and  the 
reaching  of  the  neglected  classes  from  whom  the  con- 
ventional methods  of  modern  churches  were  steadily 
creating  a  distressing  gulf  of  cleavage  and  separation. 
He  trusted  that  this  should  always  be  the  primary  ideal 
and  aim  of  our  work." 

A  society  with  such  principles  could  not  hope  to  build 
up  a  great,  visible  organization.  It  was  always  a  great 
satisfaction  to  Dr.  Simpson  to  know  that  the  message 
had  reached  and  permeated  multitudes  who  had  no  out- 
ward connection  with  the  Alliance.  He  had  no  sym- 
pathy with  any  tendency  to  exclusiveness  or  with  self- 
centred  little  gatherings  of  the  saints,  nor  yet  with  the 
mere  aim  to  build  up  a  work.  To  him,  an  Alliance  branch, 
however  small,  was  a  lighthouse  in  its  own  community 
and  a  recruiting  station  for  the  little  army  of  good  sol- 
diers of  Jesus  Christ  which  had  been  sent  to  the  ends 
of  the  earth. 

Yet  this  motive  and  ideal  was  the  strength  of  the  or- 
ganization. Factions  might  divide  it  and  false  fires  might 
burn  a  local  branch  to  ashes,  but  the  Alliance  would 
always  emerge  with  new  vigor,  because  two  or  three  dis- 
ciples with  "Jesus  in  the  midst"  constituted  a  unit  of 
this  society. 

The  Alliance  was  regarded  by  the  public  as  the  per- 
sonal work  of  a  great  leader.  Thousands  kept  asking 
"What  will  become  of  the  Alliance  when  Dr.  Simpson 
is  gone?"  The  answer  was  given  in  the  last  year  of  his 
life  when  he  was  not  in  active  leadership.  His  absence 
from  his  pulpit,  from  the  great  conventions,  and  from 


the  editorial  chair  and  the  executive  offices  was  keenly 
felt,  yet  there  was  no  falling  off  at  any  point,  and  the 
missionary  offerings  were  larger  than  ever  before.  Since 
he  was  laid  at  rest  almost  another  year — the  period  of 
supreme  test  of  his  principles  and  methods — has  passed, 
and  the  society  is  in  the  midst  of  an  advance  movement 
all  along  the  line.  This  is  the  surest  testimony  that  can 
be  given  that  he  had  received  and  obeyed  a  heavenly 
vision  in  the  development  of  the  movement  known  as 
The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance. 



THE  ministry  of  healing  was  never  wholly  lost  from 
the  Christian  Church.  The  testimony  of  Irenaeus, 
Tertullian  and  others  shows  that  it  continued  during  the 
first  three  or  four  centuries.  It  was  revived  by  the  Wal- 
denses  in  the  Middle  Ages.  Martin  Luther  claimed  that 
Melancthon  had  been  miraculously  healed.  Remarkable 
instances  of  supernatural  healing  occurred  in  the  min- 
istry of  George  Fox  and  the  early  English  Friends,  and 
authentic  cases  are  narrated  in  the  lives  of  Peden,  Cam- 
eron, and  other  Scottish  Covenanters.  George  Whitfield 
was  raised  from  what  seemed  to  be  a  death-bed  and  that 
same  night  preached  the  Gospel.  John  Wesley  declared 
that  anointing  was  a  Christian  ordinance  designed  to  be 
permanent  in  the  Church.  In  the  last  century  Dorothea 
Trudel  and  Pastors  Zeller,  Blumhardt,  and  Schrenk  on 
the  Continent,  and  Dr.  W.  E.  Boardman  in  England  were 
greatly  used  of  God  in  the  healing  of  the  sick.  In  America, 
Dr.  Charles  Cullis,  a  physician  of  Boston,  Ethan  Allen, 
a  venerable  minister  of  Hartford,  and  others  exercised 
this  ministry  with  remarkable  results. 

In  the  Old  Orchard  covenant  Dr.  Simpson  solemnly 
promised  to  use  the  blessing  he  had  received  for  the  glory 
of  God  and  the  good  of  others.  Some  time  before,  when 
studying  the  Scriptures  with  a  brother  minister,  his  friend 
said,  "Yes,  Simpson,  I  see  that  healing  is  part  of  our 
privilege,  but  then  we  cannot  preach  it."  To  which  A.  B. 
Simpson  replied,  'T  do  not  yet  clearly  see  that  it  is  part 
of  the  Gospel  for  today ;  but  if  I  ever  do,  I  must  preach  it" 


Rev.  Kenneth  Mackenzie,  who  was  in  close  touch  with 
Dr.  Simpson  from  the  beginning  of  this  ministry,  says: 
"Had  he  renounced  Divine  heaUng  he  could  have  obtained 
a  wider  and  more  tolerant  recognition.  But  that  would 
have  required  a  diplomacy  of  which  he  could  never  be 
guilty.  He  would  be  true  to  God  as  God  had  led  him 
to  see  truth,  come  what  might.  And  now  we  find  that 
it  was  the  healing  element  in  his  initial  work  that  proved 
most  influential.  The  Friday  afternoon  meeting  became 
a  shrine  for  thousands  of  people  connected  with  the 
churches  of  the  city  and  its  suburbs.  From  that  meeting 
radiated  streams  of  blessing  that  sanctified  homes  and 
hearts  and  parishes." 

Referring  to  the  early  days,  in  one  of  his  last  ad- 
dresses. Dr.  Simpson  said,  "Sanctification  and  Divine 
healing  were  not  crowded  upon  the  popular  audiences 
who  were  not  prepared  for  such  strong  meat,  but  some 
of  the  week-day  meetings  were  appointed  for  the  purpose 
of  teaching  and  testifying  along  these  lines." 

The  Friday  Meeting,  which  began  in  Mr.  Simpson's 
parlors,  has  been  carried  on  uninterruptedly  for  thirty- 
eight  years.  It  often  crowded  the  auditorium  of  the 
Gospel  Tabernacle  and  is  still  one  of  the  most  spiritual 
gatherings  in  the  Alliance  work.  An  address  on  Divine 
healing,  and  testimonies  from  those  who  have  been  healed 
are  given,  and  requests  for  prayer  are  received  from 
all  over  the  world.  The  meeting  always  closes  with  an 
anointing  service,  according  to  the  instruction  given  in 
the  epistle  of  James. 

Dr.  Simpson  was  always  careful  to  direct  those  who 
were  anointed  to  look  to  the  Lord  and  not  to  the  anointing 
or  the  anointer,  and  very  frequently  took  a  very  subordi- 
nate part  in  such  services  lest  the  eyes  of  any  one  should 

140  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

be  turned  to  himself.  As  early  as  1883  we  find  him 
writing,  "It  is  very  solemn  ground  and  can  never  be  made 
a  professional  business  or  a  public  parade.  Its  mightiest 
victories  will  always  be  silent  and  out  of  sight,  and  its 
power  will  keep  pace  with  our  humility  and  holiness. 
We  solemnly  warn  the  people  of  God  against  caricatures 
and  counterfeits  of  this  solemn  truth,  which  they  may 
expect  on  every  side.  We  greatly  deprecate  the  indis- 
criminate anointing  of  all  who  come  forward,  of  which 
we  hear  in  various  quarters.  We  trust  no  one  will  take 
this  honor  unto  himself,  but  'he  that  is  called  of  God, 
as  was  Aaron.'  We  hope  the  wonder-seeking  spirit  will 
not  be  allowed  to  take  the  place  of  practical  godliness  and 
humble  work  for  the  salvation  of  men." 

Among  believers  in  Divine  healing  anointing  with  oil 
has  been  frequently  in  connection  with  prayer  in  private 
for  the  sick.  Though  the  elders  of  the  Church,  where 
such  are  available,  are  usually  called  upon,  many  others, 
both  men  and  women,  have  anointed  the  sick  in  the  name 
of  the  Lord,  sometimes  disregarding  Dr.  Simpon's 

Mr.  Simpson  soon  felt  impelled  to  open  his  home  for 
personal  ministry  to  the  afflicted.  The  Lord  had  been 
preparing  the  way  for  this  by  a  work  of  grace  in  Mrs. 
Simpson's  heart  and  life.  She  had  been  very  slow  to 
believe  that  God  was  leading  her  husband  out  of  the 
ordinary  channels  of  life  and  service  into  the  way  of 
faith  and  sacrifice.  The  difterence  in  point  of  view  be- 
came acute  when  their  little  daughter  was  stricken  with 
diphtheria.  True  to  his  faith,  he  determined  to  commit 
the  case  into  the  hands  of  the  Great  Physician.  Mrs. 
Simpson  bitterly  opposed  this  course,  and  finally,  late 
at  night,  left  the  child  with  him  declaring  that  she  would 

Mrs    A.  B.  Simpson. 


hold  him  responsible  for  the  consequences.  He  lay  down 
beside  the  little  girl,  took  her  in  his  arms,  soothed  her  to 
sleep,  and  committed  her  then  and  forever  to  the  keeping 
of  the  Lord.  At  daybreak,  when  Mrs.  Simpson  entered 
the  room,  she  refused  to  accept  the  assurance  that  the 
child  was  better,  but  a  careful  examination  showed  that 
every  trace  of  the  disease  had  disappeared.  Without  a 
further  word,  she  turned  away,  went  to  her  own  room, 
and,  shutting  herself  in,  cried  to  the  Lord  to  reveal  Him- 
self to  her.  That  was  the  turning  point  in  her  life,  and 
shortly  afterwards  she  consented  to  the  proposition  to 
open  their  home  to  God's  suffering  children. 

On  Wednesday,  May  i6th,  1883,  a  company  of  Chris- 
tian friends  assembled  in  their  home  at  331  West  34th 
Street  for  its  dedication  as  a  Home  for  Faith  and  Physi- 
cal Healing.  The  announcement  stated  that  "any  sufferer 
who  is  really  willing  to  exercise  and  act  faith  for  healing 
will  be  received  for  a  limited  time  for  instruction  and 
waiting  upon  God  for  temporal  and  spiritual  blessing." 

The  following  paragraph  of  a  recent  personal  letter 
from  Miss  Fanny  A.  Dyer,  of  Chicago,  tells  of  her  visit 
to  this  home  in  1883.  "I  had  never  heard  much  of  the 
doctrine  of  Divine  healing  when  I  entered  the  Friday 
Meeting.  On  Sunday  morning  while  preparing  for  break- 
fast, without  being  able  to  give  much  more  Scripture  for 
it  than  the  promise  of  James  5:14-16,  I  was  instantly 
healed,  as  gloriously  and  supernaturally  as  was  the  cen- 
turion's son.  A  new  era  began  in  my  life  for  spirit,  soul, 
and  body,  glorious  beyond  expression." 

In  her  life  story,  published  in  a  periodical  some  years 
ago,  Mrs.  Katherine  H.  Brodie  tells  of  her  stubborn  re- 
fusal to  consider  the  testimony  of  her  friends,  Mrs.  Mar- 
garet  Bottome   and    others,   concerning   Divine    healing. 

142  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Finally  she  attended  the  Friday  Meeting  and  was  invited 
to  the  Home.  "I  longed,"  she  writes,  "to  accept  the  in- 
vitation but  had  not  the  courage  to  leave  the  hospital 
and  my  remedies,  and  I  feared  the  opinions  of  my  hus- 
band and  my  friends.  Later  I  attended  another  of  Mr. 
Simpson's  meetings  and,  in  obedience  to  the  command  in 
James  5:14-16,  was  anointed  and  solemnly  dedicated  to 
the  Lord.  Then  followed  ten  days  in  the  Home  on 
Thirty-fourth  Street  where  precious  lessons  were  learned 
and  glorious  work  given  me  for  my  Master.  All  pain 
left ;  the  Lord  had  become  my  strength.  I  wrote  my 
husband  of  my  new  life,  but  he,  failing  to  understand, 
hastened  to  New  York,  fearing  I  had  gone  wrong.  Nine 
months  afterwards  he  became  convinced  my  healing  was 
not  mere  fancy,  and  seeing  my  isolation,  he  sent  me  to 
New  York  again  ;  and  whereas  before  he  had  been  op- 
posed to  Mr.  Simpson's  work,  now  he  arranged  that  on 
our  arrival  we  should  go  to  his  new  Berachah  Home." 
Mrs.  Brodie  has  since  had  a  most  fruitful  ministry  in 
Great  Britain  and  has  visited  America  several  times,  min- 
istering in  the  power  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  Berachah 
Home  and  at  the  Alliance  conventions. 

One  year  after  the  Home  was  begun,  Mr.  E.  G.  Sel- 
chow,  who  himself  had  been  marvelously  healed,  do- 
nated a  building  at  328  West  Twenty-third  Street.  On 
May  5th,  1884,  it  was  formally  dedicated  to  the  Lord 
under  the  name  of  Berachah  Home,  meaning  "The  House 
of  Blessing."  It  was  moved  to  a  larger  house  on  Sixty- 
first  Street  and  Park  Avenue,  and  in  March,  1890,  to  the 
six  story  building  at  258-260  West  Forty-fourth  Street, 
adjoining  the  present  Gospel  Tabernacle.  In  1897  Rev. 
Ross  Taylor's  beautiful  residence  on  the  Nyack  hillside 
was   purchased   and  enlarged.     To   this   delightful   spot 


Berachah  Home  was  removed  where  for  twenty  years 
hungry  hearts  and  broken  bodies  found  refreshing  and 

When  Berachah  was  opened  on  Twenty-third  Street, 
it  was  put  in  charge  of  Miss  Ellen  A.  Griffin  and  Miss 
Sarah  A.  Lindenberger.  Miss  Griffin,  who  had  been 
an  active  worker  in  city  missions,  had  been  wonderfully 
healed  and  devoted  her  remarkable  gifts,  until  her  death 
in  1887,  to  ministering  in  most  practical  ways  to  the  suf- 
fering ones  in  the  Home.  Miss  Lindenberger,  a  member 
of  a  wealthy  and  worldly  Southern  family,  had  been  in 
Mr.  Simpson's  congregation  in  Louisville.  She  was  led 
by  the  Spirit  into  the  mysteries  of  grace  and  to  the  devo- 
tion of  her  culture  and  enduements  to  a  life  of  ministry  in 
Berachah  Home,  remaining  in  charge  until,  on  account 
of  age,  she  was  unable  to  continue  this  exacting  service 
and  the  Home  was  closed.  It  is  now  one  of  the  dormi- 
tories of  the  Missionary  Institute. 

Dr.  Simpson  himself  gave  much  time  to  Berachah 
Home,  and  nowhere  was  his  graciousness,  sympathy,  and 
power  in  prayer  more  manifest.  Dr.  John  Cookman, 
Dr.  Henry  Wilson,  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk,  Rev.  Stephen  Mer- 
ritt,  Rev.  F.  W.  Farr,  Rev.  W.  T.  MacArthur,  Mrs.  A.  B. 
Simpson  and  her  sister  Mrs.  E.  J.  McDonald,  Mrs.  Mar- 
garet Bottome,  Mrs.  C.  deP.  Field,  Mrs.  Bishop,  Miss 
Harriet  Waterbury,  Miss  Minnie  T.  Draper,  Mrs.  E.  M. 
Whittemore,  Miss  Ella  G.  Warren,  and  Mrs.  O.  S. 
Schultz,  were  among  those  much  used  of  the  Lord  in 
this  Home  and  in  the  Friday  Meetings.  During  the  years 
it  was  located  on  Forty-fourth  Street,  the  ministry  of 
Josephus  Pulis  was  blessed  to  thousands.  Among  the 
medical  doctors  who  were  in  full  sympathy  and  frequently 
took  part  in  these  ministrations  were  Dr.  George  B.  Peck, 

144  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

and  Dr.  James  B.  Bell,  of  Boston,  and  Doctors  Barnett, 
Stevenson,  and  Brown,  of  New  York.  Dr.  Scudder  of 
New  York  had  an  attack  on  Divine  healing  ready  for 
the  press  when  he  became  convicted  that  he  should  in- 
vestigate for  himself.  He  did  so,  was  convinced  of  the 
truth,  and  became  a  warm  friend  of  the  work. 

A  number  of  other  Homes  were  directly  or  indirectly 
connected  with  Mr.  Simpson's  ministry.  Bethany  Home, 
Toronto,  was  maintained  for  many  years  through  the 
faith  of  Mrs.  Fletcher  and  the  Rev.  John  Salmon.  Homes 
of  rest  and  healing  have  been  conducted  by  Miss  S.  M.  C. 
Musgrove,  of  Troy,  N.  Y.,  and  Mrs.  J.  P.  Kellogg,  of 
Utica,  N.  Y.,  and  Mrs.  Dora  Dudley,  of  Grand  Rapids, 
Mich.  Kemuel  House,  Philadelphia,  was  under  the  per- 
sonal care  of  Mrs.  S.  G.  Beck,  assisted  by  Dr.  and  Mrs. 
Cliff.  In  later  years  Hebron  Home  has  been  the  center 
of  the  activities  of  Rev.  and  Mrs.  F.  H.  Senft,  and  the 
headquarters  of  the  Alliance  in  that  city.  In  1894,  Rev. 
E.  D.  Whiteside,  a  Methodist  Episcopal  minister,  whose 
prejudices  had  been  overcome  by  hearing  Mr.  Simpson 
in  the  Twenty-third  Street  Tabernacle,  and  who  had  been 
marvelously  healed,  established  a  Branch  of  the  Alliance 
and  a  Home  in  Pittsburgh,  Pa.  That  successful  business 
man,  William  Henry  Conley,  a  member  of  the  Alliance 
Board,  was  closely  associated  with  Mr.  Whiteside  in 
that  work. 

Dr.  Simpson's  ministry  as  a  teacher  of  the  New  Testa- 
ment revelation  of  physical  healing  was  far-reaching. 
More  than  any  or  all  of  its  exponents  he  formulated 
this  truth  and  by  positiv  emphasis  separated  it  from  cur- 
rent fallacies.  Even  the  secular  press  was  impressed  by 
his  clear-cut  presentation.  The  Nezv  York  Sun  of  Sep- 
tember   1 6th,    1888,   contained   a   full  page   interview  in 


which  it  stated  that  "The  friends  who  are  represented 
by  A.  B.  Simpson  never  use  the  term  'faith  healing'  or 
'faith  cure.'  They  always  say  'Divine  healing'  because 
they  believe  that  faith  has  no  power  to  cure  anybody  in- 
trinsically, but  that  the  real  power  in  every  case  of  true 
healing  must  be  a  personal  God  and  not  a  mere  subjective 
state  of  mind  in  the  person  concerned  or  anybody  else." 
Dr.  Simpson  never  was  anointed  for  healing,  and  though 
he  taught  that  ministers  should  pray  for  and  anoint  the 
sick,  he  emphasized  the  right  of  the  believer  to  claim 
healing  directly  for  himself.  How  simply  he  states  that 
"the  Lord  Jesus  has  purchased  and  provided  for  His  be- 
lieving children  physical  strength,  life,  and  healing  as 
freely  as  the  spiritual  blessings  of  the  Gospel.  We  do 
not  need  the  intervention  of  any  man  or  woman  as  our 
priest,  for  He  is  our  Great  High  Priest,  able  to  be  touched 
with  the  feeling  of  our  infirmities,  and  it  is  still  as  true 
as  ever,  'As  many  as  touched  him  were  made  periectly 
whole'."  Thousands,  who  had  no  circle  of  believing 
prayer  surrounding  them,  were  thus  encouraged  to  trust 
the  Great  Physician. 

His  philosophy  of  healing  was  not  couched  in  meta- 
physical terms.  What  could  be  plainer  than  this  state- 
ment: "There  are  three  epochs  in  the  revelation  of  Jesus 
Christ  through  Divine  healing.  The  first  is  when  we  see 
it  in  the  Bible  and  believe  it  as  a  Scriptural  doctrine.  The 
second  is  when  we  see  it  in  the  Blood  and  receive  it  as 
part  of  our  redemption  rights.  But  the  third  is  when 
we  see  it  in  the  risen  life  of  Jesus  Christ  and  take  Him 
into  vital  union  with  all  our  being  as  the  life  of  our  life 
and  the  strength  of  our  mortal  frame."  And  again,  "This, 
then,  is  the  nature  of  Divine  healing.  It  is  not  the  mere 
restoration  of  ordinary  health,  but  it  is  the  impartation 

146  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

of  the  strength  of  Christ  through  the  Holy  Ghost,  and 
it  is  often  most  marked  alongside  of  the  greatest  physical 

In  a  general  way  all  devout  Christians  accept  the  first 
position.  The  second,  that  healing  is  a  provision  of  the 
atonement,  has  been  and  is  still  bitterly  opposed,  even  by 
some  who  pray  for  the  sick.  The  third,  or  mystical  view 
I  of  participation  with  the  hving  Christ  in  His  resurrection 
life,  taught  by  John  and  Paul  and  restated  by  A.  B. 
Simpson,  has  been  even  less  understood.  Yet  this  became 
normal  life  to  him  and  is  interwoven  in  all  of  his  writings. 
In  this  imparted  life  many  a  missionary  "in  deaths  oft" 
has  triumphed.  It  was  the  secret  of  the  paradox  of  Dr. 
George  P.  Pardington's  later  ministry,  who,  though  for 
years  he  had  to  be  carried  to  and  from  his  classes,  never 
missed  a  lecture  in  the  Missionary  Institute.  It  made 
Henry  Wilson's  life  radiant  with  buoyant,  joyous  health. 
It  healed  Rev.  G.  Verner  Brown  of  spinal  meningitis  and 
sustains  him  in  a  strenuous  ministry.  It  enabled  "The 
little  man  from  Chicago,"  as  Rev.  W.  G.  Meminger  called 
himself,  to  rise  from  a  consumptive's  couch  and  startle 
audiences  up  and  down  the  continent  with  his  Hallelujahs. 
It  is  the  distinctive  testimony  of  the  Alliance  as  to 

Most  of  the  caustic  criticism  by  well-meaning  friends 
would  be  turned  into  prayer  for  those  who  take  this 
position  if  the  following  quotations  from  Dr.  Simpson 
were  properly  understood.  The  first  reveals  the  secret 
source  of  this  life.  "We  do  not  possess  this  strength 
in  ourselves;  it  is  the  strength  of  Another,  and  we  just 
appropriate  it,  and  so  Christ  is  our  life.  It  is  not  self- 
contained  strength,  but  strength  derived  each  moment 
from  One  above  us,  beyond  us,  and  yet  within  us." 


Quite  as  essential  are  its  terms.  "The  conditions  of 
this  great  blessing  are  first  that  we  are  wholly  yielded  to 
Him,  so  that  we  should  use  the  life  He  gives  for  His 
glory  and  service.  Second,  that  we  believe  without  doubt 
the  promise  of  His  word  for  our  own  physical  healing. 
Third,  that  we  abide  in  Him  for  our  physical  life  and 
draw  our  strength  moment  by  moment  through  personal 
dependence  upon  Him." 

Both  Dr.  Gray  and  Mr.  Mackenzie  call  attention  to 
the  sanity  exhibited  by  A.  B.  Simpson  in  regard  to  the 
practical  application  of  his  theory  of  healing.  He  was 
no  extremist,  whatever  follies  or  fanaticisms  some  of  his 
followers  may  have  fallen  into.  The  great  preservative 
was  the  central  and  dominant  truth  of  his  whole  system — 
Christ  in  you.  He  expected  nothing  from  you,  nor  yet 
from  himself,  and  was  disappointed  only  with  manifest 
rejection  of  Christ.  How  tender  he  was  to  those  who 
failed !  How  considerate  of  those  who  had  not  seen  the 
truth  that  to  him  was  all  in  all ! 

Nothing  that  could  be  written  would  exhibit  this  so 
clearly  as  a  leading  editorial  elicited  by  letters  asking 
"Why  are  they  not  healed  ?"    Dr.  Simpson  replied  : 

"First  of  all,  we  would  say,  we  do  not  know,  and 
probably  you  do  not  know,  and  will  not  know  absolutely, 
until  *we  know  even  as  we  are  known' ;  and  one  of  the 
first  lessons  that  God  wants  you  to  learn  is  to  be  still 
and  dumb  with  silence,  suppressing  every  thought,  trust- 
ing where  you  cannot  see,  and  'judging  nothing  before 
the  time,  until  the  Lord  come,  who  both  will  bring  to  light 
the  hidden  things  of  darkness,  and  will  make  manifest  the 
counsels  of  the  heart.' 

"It  is  quite  shocking  how  some  people  get  upon  the 
throne  and  sit  in  judgment  on  God's  providences,  dealing 

148  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

His  judgments  upon  the  heads  of  their  brethren,  and  ex- 
plaining the  mysteries  of  His  will  as  though  they  were 
His  special  interpreters  and  viceregents. 

"One  of  His  supreme  thoughts  in  many  of  His  deal- 
ings is  to  teach  us  to  'be  still,  and  know  that  He  is  God.' 
But,  while  this  is  true,  there  are  many  lessons  which  He 
would  have  us  learn  when  we  are  ready  to  do  it  with 
intelligent  and  earnest  faith,  and  it  may  be  that  some  of 
these  thoughts  will  be  helpful  to  anxious,  perplexed  minds. 
Therefore,  we  would  say: 

"I.  That  undoubtedly  some  persons  have  not  been 
healed  because  their  life-work  was  completed,  and  their 
Lord  was  calling  them  to  Himself.  There  comes  such 
an  hour  in  every  accomplished  life. 

'TI.  Sometimes,  however,  this  is  not  fully  understood 
by  the  suffering  one  or  the  surrounding  friends,  and 
there  is  the  natural  struggle  and  the  earnest  prayer,  and 
the  deep  disappointment  when  it  seems  unanswered.  But 
we  believe  that  if  we  shall  wait  upon  the  Lord  in  a  life 
of  faith,  obedience  and  communion,  the  heart  will  usually 
be  able,  with  quietness,  to  understand  enough  of  His  will 
to  triumph  even  in  death  itself. 

"HI.  Sometimes,  we  believe,  life  is  shortened  by  dis- 
obedience to  God.  Long  life  is  promised  to  those  who 
obey  Him  and  follow  Him ;  and  of  others  it  is  said :  Tor 
this  cause  many  are  weak  and  sickly  among  you,  and 
many  sleep.  For  if  we  would  judge  ourselves,  we  should 
not  be  judged.  But  when  we  are  judged,  we  are  chas- 
tened of  the  Lord,  that  we  should  not  be  condemned  with 
the  world.'  This,  undoubtedly,  has  reference  to  physical 
judgments,  and  the  way  they  may  be  escaped  is  by  self 
judging  and  hcly,  watchful  obedience. 

"IV.    There  is  often  a  lack  of  real  faith  on  the  part 


of  the  sick  even  where  the  external  conditions  of  faith 
have  apparently  been  fulfilled,  and  others  may  suppose 
there  has  been  real  faith  in  God  for  healing. 

"Faith  for  Divine  healing  is  not  mere  abstinence  from 
remedies,  an  act  of  intellect  or  will,  or  a  submission  to 
the  ordinance  of  anointing,  but  it  is  the  real,  spiritual 
touch  of  Christ,  and  it  is  much  more  rare  than  many 

"There  is  plenty  of  faith  in  the  doctrine,  plenty  of 
readiness  to  give  up  remedies,  plenty  of  faith  in  the 
prayers  of  others — especially  if  they  are  eminent  saints — 
plenty  of  faith  for  healing  in  the  future ;  but  personal, 
real  faith  that  takes  Christ  nozv,  and,  pressing  through 
the  crowd,  touches  His  garment,  is  not  much  oftener 
found  now  than  in  the  days  when  only  one,  struggling 
through  the  crowd  that  surrounded  Him,  really  touched 



ONE  of  the  psalmists  was  so  taken  up  with  the  glories 
of  the  King  that  he  sings, 

"My    heart    bubbleth    up    with    a    goodly    matter ; 
My  tongue  is  the  pen  of  a  ready  writer." 

No  such  spiritual  impulsion  moved  Solomon  when  he 


"My  son,  be  admonished: 
Of  making  many  books  there  is  no  end, 
And  much  study  is  a  weariness  o   fthe  flesh." 

In  his  early  ministry  A.  B.  Simpson  knew  the  laborious- 
ness  of  much  study  and  yet  seems  to  have  followed  Solo- 
mon's admonition  as  to  the  making  of  books,  for  though 
his  sermons  frequently  appeared  in  current  papers,  he  had 
not  given  the  public  the  fruit  of  his  studies  in  permanent 

When  he  was  filled  with  the  Spirit,  it  became  literally 
true  that  his  tongue  was  the  pen  of  a  ready  writer,  for 
his  messages  flowed  so  felicitously  from  his  lips  that  a 
stenographic  report  needed  little  editing,  and  his  sermons 
appeared  almost  verbatim  in  his  periodical,  and  after- 
wards in  book  form. 

It  was  because  of  this  unusual  gift  that  the  making 
of  many  books  was  not  an  endless  "weariness  of  the 
flesh,"  but  one  of  the  supreme  joys  of  his  ministry.  Un- 
questionably he  had  great  natural  endowments.  In  his 
first  two  pastorates  he  prepared  his  sermonts  with  the 
utmost  care,  writing  and  rewriting  them,  thus  acquiring 
skill  in  literary  art.     "I  had  a  facile  pen,"  he  once  said 


in  speaking  of  liis  experiences  when  he  launched  out  in  a 
life  of  faith,  "and  thought  to  support  my  family  by  literarj' 
work.  But  the  Lord  checked  me  from  commercializing 
my  gift."  While  he  consecrated  his  talents  and  culture, 
he  came  to  realize  their  insufficiency  for  the  work  to 
which  God  had  called  him  and  applied  the  great  secret 
which  he  had  learned  to  this  as  to  every  other  activity. 

In  that  heart  message  at  Bethshan  he  said  with  charac- 
teristic humility :  "Then   I  had  a  poor  sort  of  a  mind, 
heavy  and  cumbrous,  that  did  not  think  or  work  quickly, 
I  wanted  to  write  and  speak  ft)r  Christ  and  to  have  a 
ready  memory,  so  as  to  have  the  little  knowledge  I  had 
gained  always  under  command.     I  went  to  Christ  about 
it,  and  asked  if  He  had  anything  for  me  in  this  way. 
He  replied,  'Yes,  my  child,  I  am  made  unto  you.  Wis- 
dom.'   I  was  always  making  mistakes,  which  I  regretted, 
and  then  thinking  I  would  not  make  them  again:  but 
when  He  said  that  He  would  be  my  wisdom,  that  we 
may  have  the  mind  of  Christ,  that  He  would  cast  down 
imaginations  and  bring  into  captivity  every  thought  to 
the  obedience  of  Christ,  that  He  could  make  the  brain 
and  head  right,  then  I  took  Him  for  all  that.    And  since 
then  I  have  been  kept  free  from  this  mental  disability, 
and  work  has  been  rest.     I  used  to  write  two  sermons 
a  week,  and  it  took  me  three  days  to  complete  one.    But 
now,  in  connection  with  my  literary  work,  I  have  num- 
berless pages  of  matter  to  write  constantly  besides  the 
conduct  of  very  many  meetings  a  week,  and  all  is  de- 
lightfully easy  to  me.    The  Lord  has  helped  me  mentally, 
and  I  know  He  is  the  Saviour  of  our  mind  as  well  as 
our  spirit." 

To  the  same  inner  working  of  the  Spirit  of  God  Dr. 
Simpson  attributed  his  ministry  of  song.     Though  his 

152  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

reminiscences  show  that  he  recognized  the  maternal  in- 
fluence in  his  poetic  temperament,  a  letter  written  not 
long  before  he  laid  down  his  pen  stated  that  he  had  nevet 
written  a  poem  in  his  life  until  the  Spirit  of  God  filled 
him  with  "psalms  and  hymns  and  spiritual  songs."  So, 
too,  he  speaks  of  his  love  for  music  and  of  his  early, 
unaided  attempts  to  master  the  violin.  He  had  not  a 
musical  education,  yet  a  few  of  his  musical  compositions, 
which  seemed  to  flow  from  his  heart  spontaneouely  with 
the  hymns  to  which  they  are  set,  have  already  been  recog- 
nized in  Church  music.  Both  words  and  music  of  Ever- 
lasting Arms,  Search  Me  O  God,  Thy  Kingdom  Comr, 
and  others  touch  the  heart  chords  so  strongly  and  ten- 
derly that  they  will  live  in  our  psalmody. 

The  Gospel  in  All  Lands,  which  Mr.  Simpson  instituted 
during  his  pastorate  in  the  Thirteenth  Street  Presbyterian 
Church,  was  the  first  illustrated  missionary  magazine  on 
the  American  continent,  and,  with  one  exception,  the 
first  in  the  world.  He  received  little  encouragement  when 
he  proposed  to  issue  this  monthly.  But  he  had  caught 
the  vision  of  a  needy  world  and  believed  that  no  art  was 
too  good  for  missionary  propaganda.  The  first  volume 
which  appeared  in  February,  1880,  assured  its  success, 
and  although  he  was  compelled  by  the  physical  collapse 
which  occurred  in  the  following  summer  to  turn  the 
magazine  over  to  others,  he  had  set  such  an  editorial 
standard  that  for  many  years  it  held  a  foremost  place  in 
current  missionary  literature. 

In  1882,  shortly  after  Mr.  Simpson's  independent  work 
began,  he  issued  the  first  number  of  another  illustrated 
missionary  monthly.  The  Word,  Work,  and  World.  Some 
of  his  best  literary  work  was  done  on  this  magazine.  He 
was  Uying  the  foundation  for  his  comprehensive  grasp 


of  world  wide  missions  and  giving  his  constituency  the 
fruit  of  his  studies  in  illuminating  articles  and  readable 
paragraphs.  All  of  the  freshness  of  a  newly  found  mes- 
sage is  in  the  sermons  which  appear  in  these  volumes. 
Leading  articles  on  phases  of  the  deeper  life  were  always 
included,  and  some  of  his  courses  of  lectures  in  the  Train- 
ing College,  rich  in  Biblical  scholarship,  appeared  in 

In  January,  1888,  the  name  of  this  magazine  was 
changed  to  The  Christian  Alliance  as  a  few  months  before 
the  society  bearing  that  name  had  been  organized,  and 
Mr.  Simpson  desired  to  make  the  paper  the  mouthpiece 
of  the  work.  It  continued  as  a  monthly  for  more  than  a 
year  and  then  became  The  Christian  Alliance  and  Foreign 
Mission  Weekly.  For  a  number  of  years  it  has  appeared 
under  the  simpler  title  of  The  Alliance  Weekly. 

In  outlining  the  policy  of  the  paper  in  its  new  form 
as  The  Christian  Alliance  and  Foreign  Missionary 
Weekly,  August  4th,  1889,  the  editor  made  this  announce- 

"The  great  movement  of  today,  the  greatest  m.ovement 
of  the  Church's  history  is  a  CHRIST  MOVEMENT ;  a 
revealing  in  our  day,  with  a  definiteness  never  before  so 
real,  of  the  person  of  the  living  Chirst  as  the  center  of 
our  spiritual  life,  the  source  of  our  sanctification,  the 
fountain  of  our  physical  life  and  healing,  the  Prince- 
Leader  of  our  work,  and  the  glorious  coming  King,  al- 
ready on  His  way  to  His  millennial  throne  and  sending 
on  as  the  outriders  of  His  host  and  the  precursors  of  His 
coming  the  mighty  forces  and  agencies  which  today  are 
arousing  the  Church  and  convulsing  the  world. 

"This  is  the  chosen  and  delightful  ministry  of  this 
humble  journal  and  the  blessed  circle  of  disciples  who 

154  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

gather  around  the  standard  of  the  Fourfold  Gospel;  not 
merely  to  preach  salvation,  or  sanctification,  or  healing, 
or  premillennialism,  but  JESUS  CHRIST. 

"Therefore  over  all  other  names  and  themes  we  write 
our  eternal  watchword  'JESUS  ONLY,'  and  devote  these 
pages  to  the  person  and  glory,  the  control,  service,  and 
exaltation  of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ." 

As  its  editor,  Mr.  Simpson  became  recognized  as  one 
of  the  strongest  editorial  writers  of  our  time.  From 
weeK  to  week  he  compressed  his  richest  experiences  and 
profoundest  knowledge  in  a  few  expository  paragraphs, 
and  scarcely  a  number  left  the  press  without  one  or 
more  incisive  editorials  on  the  great  providential  move- 
ments and  the  trend  of  the  times.  He  was  most  careful 
of  the  choice  of  his  writers,  and  perhaps  no  paper  has 
ever  been  at  once  so  rich  in  spiritual  food  and  so  free 
from  the  taint  of  fanaticism.  The  missionary  columns 
were  filled  with  the  triumphs  of  the  Gospel  not  only  in 
the  Alliance  fields  but  in  the  work  of  other  societies  of  a 
kindred  spirit. 

For  several  years  beginning  July  ist,  1902,  Dr.  Simp- 
son also  edited  a  high  class  religious  monthly  known  as 
Living  TrutJis,  his  own  contributions  showing  the  ma- 
turity of  his  literary  work,  and  the  articles  by  Dr.  Wilson, 
Dr.  Farr,  Dr.  Pardington,  and  others  being  of  permanent 

Among  those  who  assisted  Dr.  Simpson  in  the  details 
of  editorial  work  were  Miss  Harriet  Waterbury,  Miss 
Louise  Shepard,  Miss  Emma  F.  Beere,  and  Dr.  J.  Hud- 
son Ballard,  their  ability  and  devotion  making  his  editorial 
ministry  possible. 

In  the  early  days  Mr.  Simpson's  Sunday  morning  ser- 
mon appeared  in  separate  serial  form  as  Tabernacle  Ser- 


mons  and  had  a  wide  circulation.  In  1889,  when  his  pe- 
riodical became  a  weekly,  as  the  discourse  appeared  in  the 
paper,  Tabernacle  Sermons  was  discontinued.  The  de- 
mand for  them  had  been  so  great  that  it  became  neces- 
sary to  issue  them  in  more  permanent  form. 

In  1886  a  book  of  sermons  on  service  appeared  under 
the  title  The  King's  Business,  and  another  series  cover- 
ing the  deeper  life  as  presented  in  the  books  of  the  New 
Testament  was  issued  in  the  same  year  entitled  The  Ful- 
ness of  Jesus.  Among  the  other  early  books  of  sermons 
may  be  mentioned  The  Christ  of  the  Forty  Days,  or  the 
revelation  of  the  risen  Christ,  a  theme  on  which  Mr. 
Simpson  loved  to  dwell ;  The  Love  Life  of  the  Lord, 
which  places  him  with  Robert  Murray  McCheyne  and 
Hudson  Taylor  as  an  interpreter  of  the  mystical  Song 
of  Solomon ;  The  Life  of  Prayer,  showing  as  deep  pene- 
tration into  this  mystery  as  Andrew  Murray's  discussions ; 
The  Larger  Christian  Life,  revealing  the  possibilities  of 
a  Christ-centered  and  Spirit-filled  life;  and  The  Land  of 
Promise,  presenting  our  inheritance  in  Christ  as  typified 
in  the  conquest  of  Canaan.  Many  of  his  later  sermons 
were  also  grouped  into  books. 

The  first  volumes  of  his  unique  commentary,  Christ  in 
the  Bible,  appeared  in  1889.  This  series  was  intended 
to  include  a  survey  of  the  great  truths  of  the  Word  as 
revealed  book  by  book.  The  best  of  his  expository  dis- 
courses were  adapted  to  this  purpose. 

Four  little  volumes  covering  the  essentials  of  Dr. 
Simpson's  message  were  among  his  earliest  productions 
and  have  had  an  enormous  sale,  both  in  English  and  other 
languages.  They  are  in  reality  text-books  of  the  Alliance 
movement.  The  Fourfold  Gospel  is  a  brief  statement  of 
the  four  aspects  of  the  Alliance  watchword,  "Jesus  Christ 

156  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

— Saviour,  Sanctier,  Healer,  and  Coming  King";  and 
tlie  others  The  Christ  Life,  Wholly  Sanctified  and  The 
Gospel  of  Healing  treat  of  phases  of  this  truth. 

Dr.  Simpson  has  written  a  number  of  other  books  on 
the  distinctive  testimony  of  the  AlHance.  The  Discovery 
of  Divine  Healing,  Inquiries  and  Answers  Concerning 
Divine  Healing,  A  Cloud  of  Witnesses,  and  Friday  Meet- 
ing Talks  deal  with  Divine  healing.  His  earliest  book  on 
the  Lord's  Coming  was  The  Gospel  of  the  Kingdom.  The 
Coming  One,  written  in  1912,  is  a  general  discussion  of 
the  Second  Coming ;  and  a  companion  volume,  Foregleams 
of  the  Coming  One,  a  survey  of  the  prophecies  of  our 
Lord's  Return,  was  left  in  manuscript  and  is  now  in  the 
press.  Back  to  Patmos,  an  interpretation  of  the  book  of 
Revelation,  his  latest  contribution  on  this  subject,  was 
written  at  the  beginning  of  the  war.  He  did  not  adhere 
either  to  the  Historic  or  the  Futurist  view  in  his  interpre- 
tation but  took  middle  ground  where  an  increasing  num- 
ber of  devout  interpreters  stand. 

He  was  not  an  extremist  on  typology,  but  his  three 
books  on  Divine  Emblems  in  the  Pentateuch,  together 
with  Christ  in  the  Tabernacle,  Emblems  of  the  Holy  Spirit 
and  Natural  Emblems  in  the  Spiritual  Life  make  clear 
the  meaning  of  most  of  the  typical  passages  in  the 

The  two  large  volumes.  The  Holy  Spirit  in  the  Old  and 
New  Testaments,  contain  the  fullest  and  clearest  general 
survey  on  the  person  and  ministry  of  the  Holy  Spirit  that 
can  be  found  in  religious  literature. 

Polemical  discussion  had  no  attraction  for  Dr.  Simp- 
son. He  had  a  positive  message  and  usually  left  heretics 
and  fanatical  teaching  alone.  He  loved  to  tell  of  the  Mis- 
sissippi pilot  who  justified  his  lack  of  knowledge  of  the 


location  of  the  snags  in  the  river  by  saying,  "I  reckon 
I  know  where  the  snags  ain't,  and  there  is  where  I  pro- 
pose to  do  my  saiHng."  One  of  his  strongest  books  is 
Present  Truth,  a  series  of  discussions  of  the  supernatural, 
in  which  he  puts  all  opponents  of  true  Christianity  on 
the  defensive  by  his  clear  presentation  of  the  great  facts 
which  transcend  natural  law.  In  another  book,  The  Old 
Faith  and  the  New  Gospels,  he  gives  a  most  masterly 
arraignment  of  those  unChristian  phases  in  education, 
theology,  sociology,  and  experimental  life  which  have 
been  seeking  to  discredit  and  supplant  the  orthodox  view 
of  Christ. 

The  great  missionary  messages  which  so  thrilled  multi- 
tudes unfortunately  have  been  left  unarranged.  His 
Larger  Outlooks  on  Missionary  Lands,  in  which  in  his 
racy  style  he  surveyed  the  fields  which  he  visited  on  his 
tour  in  1893,  is  his  only  book  on  Missions. 

Among  his  most  widely  read  books  are  several  volumes 
prepared  for  private  or  family  devotions.  The  most 
popular  has  been  Days  of  Heathen  upon  Earth  with  a  mes- 
sage for  each  day  of  the  year. 

Though  there  is  not  a  phase  of  Christian  life  or  expe- 
rience that  is  not  touched  in  these  books,  several  others 
were  devoted  to  special  aspects  of  the  Deeper  Life,  reit- 
erating and  enlarging  the  great  central  theme  "Christ  in 
you  the  hope  of  glory."  He  never  allowed  himself  to  be 
drawn  away  from  this  one  great  message. 

During  the  last  two  years  of  his  active  ministry  Dr. 
Simpson  devoted  much  of  his  time  to  the  Bible  Com- 
mentary, in  which  he  was  condensing  his  life  study  of 
the  Bible  in  the  form  of  a  Bible  Correspondence  Course. 
He  had  just  begun  the  third  and  final  year  of  this  study 
when  his  pen  was  laid  down.    It  was  his  ardent  hope  that 

158  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

he  would  be  permitted  to  complete  this  work,  but  this 
expectation  was  not  realized. 

Dr.  Simpson's  early  hymns  were  included  in  the  first 
volume  of  Hymns  of  the  Christian  Life,  which  was  pub- 
lished in  1891.  This  was  followed  by  two  other  volumes 
in  which  a  number  of  his  later  hymns  appeared.  The 
three  books  were  afterward  rearranged  and  combined, 
making  a  volume  which  has  had  a  very  wide  circulation, 
and  has  greatly  enriched  modern  hymnology. 

In  1894  a  number  of  Dr.  Simpson's  earliest  poems  were 
issued  in  a  little  volume,  Millennial  Chimes.  This  was 
the  only  book  of  poems  which  he  published.  Some  songs 
that  are  not  in  the  hymnal  appeared  in  his  periodicals, 
and  a  number  were  sent  out  as  Christmas  and  New  Year's 
messages.  He  wrote  class  songs  for  many  of  the  grad- 
uating classes  in  the  Missionary  Institute,  some  of  which, 
like  Be  True,  have  become  widely  popular.  Larger  Out- 
looks on  Missionary  Lands  contains  several  of  his  finest 
missionary  poems.  Beautiful  Japan  was  written  as  he 
left  these  "Islands  of  the  Morning."  Our  hearts  thrill 
with  his  as  we  read — 

"Land  of  v/ondrous  beauty,  what  a  charm  there  Hngers 
Over  every  landscape,  every  flower  and  tree ! 

But  a  brighter  glory  waits  to  break  upon  thee 
Than  thy  cloud-capped  Mountain  or  thy  Inland  Sea. 

Tis  the  Father's  glory  in  the  face  of  Jesus ; 
'Tis  the  blessed  story  of  redeeming  love. 

Wake  to  meet  the  dawning  of  the  heavenly  sunrise! 

Rise  to  liail  the  glory  shining  from  above!" 
Some  of  his  unpublished  poems  have  been  collected 
recently  and,  together  with  old  favorites,  issued  under 
the  title.  Songs  of  the  Spirit.  Quite  a  number  still  re- 
main in  manuscript.  Here  is  the  last  stanza  of  one,  en- 
titled The  Star  of  Bethlehem — 


"Bright  Star,  thy  coming  must  be  near; 
The  darkness  of  the  dawn  gives  warning. 
Behold,  the  sky  begins  to  clear ! 
The  night  is  almost  gone — Good  Morning!" 

Dr.  Simpson  wrote  more  than  seventy  books,  but  by 
far  the  greatest  was  the  imprinted  volume  of  a  Christ- 
centered  and  Spirit-filled  life.  Of  the  making  of  this 
book  he  was  keenly  conscious  when  he  wrote  in  the  con- 
cluding words  in  his  Commentary  on  Romans,  "Beloved, 
the  pages  are  going  up  every  day  for  the  record  of  our 
life.  We  are  setting  the  type  ourselves  by  every  moment's 
action.  Hands  unseen  are  stereotyping  the  plates,  and 
soon  the  record  will  be  registered  and  read  before  the 
audience  of  the  universe  and  amid  the  issues  of  eternity." 


ALBERT  B.  SIMPSON  always  lived  a  strenuous  life. 
When  he  was  fourteen,  he  was  taking  a  man's  place 
on  a  Canadian  farm.  His  high  school  course  was  cut 
short  by  a  serious  breakdown  from  over  study.  The  pace 
he  set  for  himself  in  both  of  his  early  pastorates  resulted 
in  enforced  periods  of  rest  which  he  could  not  be  induced 
to  complete.  When  at  length  he  was  renewed  in  mind 
and  body  by  the  impartation  of  Divine  life,  he  devoted 
his  new  found  energies  to  the  service  of  his  Lord  with 
a  consecration  which  has  rarely  been  equalled.  Believing 
implicitly  that  this  supernatural  life  had  no  limit  within 
the  sphere  of  duty  and  opportunity,  he  never  stopped  to 
measure  his  strength  against  the  task  before  him. 

He  was  an  ambitious  man  and  might  have  attained 
greatness  in  more  than  one  sphere  in  life,  but  after  the 
great  crisis  all  of  his  aspirations  were  concentrated  into 
those  three  passions  which  overmastered  the  apostle  Paul 
and  led  him  to  declare, — "I  am  ambitious  to  be  quiet" ; 
"I  am  ambitious  whether  at  home  or  absent  to  be  well 
pleasing  unto  him" ;  "I  am  ambitious  to  preach  the  Gospel 
where  Christ  has  not  been  named."  Because  A.  B.  Simp- 
son attained  the  first  mentioned  ambition  to  a  degree  that 
few  have  known,  and  lived  in  the  repose  of  God,  he  was 
able  to  sustain  an  activity  that  amazed  his  friends  and 
silenced  the  charge  that  his  teaching  led  to  passivity. 

Returning  to  his  pulpit  in  Louisville  after  a  long,  en- 
forced absence  in  1879,  he  preached  on  the  text  "This  one 

A  MAN  OF  ACTION  i6i 

thing  I  do."  The  following  paragraph  from  his  discourse 
shows  that  in  those  dark  days  he  had  learned  Paul's  se- 
cret of  service.  "The  last  thing  in  Paul's  watchword  was 
ivork, — not  I  dream,  I  purpose,  or  even  I  will  do,  but  I  do. 
He  has  already  begun.  Paul  gave  no  countenance  to  that 
abuse  of  God's  rich  grace  which  encourages  easy  indo- 
lence and  the  kind  of  rest  that  does  nothing  because  God 
will  do  all.  In  Paul  we  see  a  perfect  example  of  the  fine 
balance  and  proportion  of  character  which  has  the  most 
sensitive  feeling,  the  most  intense  spirituality,  the  most 
devout  emotion,  and  the  most  unquestioning  faith,  side 
by  side  with  the  most  practical  common  sense."  Words 
could  not  more  accurately  describe  Dr.  Simpson's  own 
manner  of  life  from  that  day  forward. 

Speaking  at  Bethshan  in  1885,  he  said,  "I  have  been 
permitted  by  God  to  work — I  say  this  to  His  honor  and 
thousands  could  bear  witness  to  it — and  I  have  worked 
about  four  times  as  hard  as  I  ever  did  in  my  life.  In 
those  four  years  I  have  not  had  one  hour  away  from 
work  and  have  not  had  one  single  summer  vacation." 

For  the  next  twelve  years  he  continued  to  live  in  the 
heart  of  New  York  City  in  the  midst  of  manifold  minis- 
tries and  constant  distractions.  Yet  he  seemed  to  thrive 
on  overwork,  and  added  burdens  only  increased  his  evi- 
dent vitality. 

During  all  the  years  which  he  lived  at  Nyack  he  rarely 
failed  to  board  the  6:18  A.  M.  train  for  New  York  City. 
The  hour  on  the  train  was  given  to  a  rapid  glance  over 
the  events  of  the  day  and  to  study  or  editorial  work. 
Sometimes  his  secretary  was  called  to  his  assistance  on 
the  journey.  The  day  in  New  York  was  spent  in  his 
little  office  where  he  accomplished  almost  unbelievable 
tasks   and   in  interviews,    in   committees,   and   in  public 

i62  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

meetings.  He  was  busy  again  on  the  homeward  journey 
and,  after  dinner,  spent  hours  in  his  study  before  he 
finally  gave  himself  to  a  time  of  prayerful  relaxation  as 
preparation  for  the  few  hours  of  sleep  which  he  allowed 

It  is  needless  to  recount  the  many  activities  which  have 
been  described  in  previous  pages — his  pulpit  and  plat- 
form work,  his  pastoral  duties,  his  ministry  for  the  sick, 
his  lectures  in  the  Institute,  his  convention  tours,  his  cor- 
respondence, his  editorial  labors,  his  preparation  of  books, 
his  production  of  hymns,  and  his  executive  responsibili- 
ties. For  him  there  was  no  such  possibility  as  leisure. 
Yet  he  was  never  flurried,  even  when  hurrying  at  the  last 
minute  to  keep  an  appointment  or  to  catch  a  train.  A 
party  of  friends  was  at  the  dock  to  bid  him  farewell  when 
he  was  starting  on  his  tour  around  the  world.  They  sang 
and  prayed  and  waited.  The  deck  hands  were  loosening 
the  tacklings  when  he  appeared,  sped  up  the  moving 
gangway,  turned,  waved  his  hand  and,  with  that  ever 
ready  wit  that  saved  many  a  situation,  shouted — "Good- 
bye ;  God  bless  you  all !  I'll  be  twenty-four  hours  ahead 
of  you  when  I  get  around  the  world." 

Yet  he  was  never  too  busy  to  meet  a  special  call.  He 
had  to  protect  himself  from  needless  interruptions,  as 
does  every  man  of  affairs ;  but  when  he  responded,  it  was 
with  rare  graciousness,  and  few  ever  knew  at  what  cost 
his  time  was  given  to  them. 

He  had  learned  the  secret  of  concentrating  every  power 
on  the  person  or  thing  to  w^hich  for  the  moment  he  gave 
himself,  and  the  rarer  art  of  a  quiet  dependence  upon 
God  to  carry  him  through  the  hard  places.  To  him  work 
and  communion  were  not  antagonists  but  handmaidens. 
He  expresses  this  in  his  own  poetic  way. 

A  MAN  OF  ACTION  163 

"I  used  to  be  very  fond  of  gardening.  I  could  work 
in  the  garden  and  yet  smell  the  roses ;  they  did  not  keep 
me  from  my  husbandry ;  I  had  my  sweet  flowers  every 
second ;  they  did  not  hinder  the  work  a  bit.  So  you  can 
be  busy  all  the  time,  and  have  the  breath  of  heaven ;  it 
will  not  hinder  you.  It  is  like  working  in  a  perfumed 
room,  every  sense  exhilarated.  It  is  something  deeper 
than  prayer — communion." 

Dr.  Simpson  never  sought  nor  expected  an  easy  life. 
In  one  of  his  last  public  addresses  he  stated  that  "In  the 
beginning  of  the  life  of  faith  God  gave  me  a  vision  which 
to  me  was  a  symbol  of  the  kind  of  life  to  which  He  had 
called  me.  In  this  dream  a  little  sail  boat  was  passing 
down  a  rapid  stream,  tossed  by  the  winds  and  driven  by 
the  rapids.  Every  moment  it  seemed  as  if  it  must  be 
dashed  upon  the  rocks  and  crushed,  yet  it  was  preserved 
in  some  mysterious  way  and  carried  through  all  perils. 
Upon  the  sails  of  the  little  ship  was  plainly  painted  the 
name  of  the  vessel  in  one  Latin  word,  Angustia,  meaning 
Hard  Places.  Through  this  simple  dream,  the  Lord 
seemed  to  fortify  me  for  the  trials  and  testings  that  were 
ahead,  and  to  prepare  me  for  a  life's  voyage  which  was 
to  be  far  from  a  smooth  one,  but  through  which  God's 
grace  would  always  carry  me  in  triumph." 

What  was  given  in  a  vision  was  confirmed  through  the 
Word.  In  the  well  marked  Bible  which  he  used  in  his 
great  life  crisis  in  Louisville  he  heavily  underscored  Jer. 
39:18,  "Thy  life  shall  be  for  a  prey  unto  thee  because 
thou  hast  put  thy  trust  in  me,  saith  the  Lord."  On  the 
margin  he  wrote  the  date,  January  ist,  1879,  and  there- 
after he  regarded  this  as  one  of  his  life  texts. 

When  he  left  home  for  his  convention  tours,  long  or 
short,  he  carried  with  him  work  that  would  have  over- 

i64  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

whelmed  an  ordinary  man,  even  in  his  office,  and  was 
always  followed  by  numerous  telegrams  and  piles  of  for- 
warded mail.  The  local  demands  opon  him  at  every  point 
were  insistent;  and,  though  he  gave  himself  unstintedly 
to  public  service  and  private  interviews,  he  usually  found 
it  necessary  to  resort  to  hotel  accommodation  to  conserve 
time  and  strength.  This  was  sometimes  misunderstood, 
but  here  and  there  at  least  his  motives  were  appreciated, 
as  is  shown  in  this  incident  referred  to  in  a  letter  from 
Rev.  Samuel  H.  Wilkinson,  of  the  Mildmay  Mission  to 
the  Jews. 

"The  following  may  seem  trivial,  but  it  reveals  char- 
acter. During  Dr.  Simpson's  stay  in  England  I  invited 
him  to  take  part  in  the  Brentwood  Convention.  He 
promised  to  do  so  but  stipulated  that  he  should  be  accom- 
modated at  an  hotel  instead  of  in  a  private  house  because, 
to  use  his  own  expression,  the  'social  instinct'  was  strong 
in  him,  and  he  lost  time  and  strength  in  conversation.  I 
apprised  him  when  he  was  to  speak  and  named  a  suitable 
train  from  London.  I  met  it  on  the  evening  he  was  ex- 
pected and  each  train  thereafter  until  almost  the  time 
of  the  gathering,  when,  leaving  another  to  meet  him  at 
the  station,  I  went  myself  to  the  Town  Hall  to  apologize 
for  Dr.  Simpson's  delayed  arrival.  But  I  found  him 
there  waiting  for  me !  'I  thought,'  he  said,  'that  I  would 
just  come  down  earlier  in  the  afternoon  than  I  was  ex- 
pected and  sit  awhile  in  the  hotel  for  repose  of  mind.' 
And  the  incident  clings  even  more  than  his  splendid  ad- 
dresses, as  an  indication  of  the  simplicity  of  greatness." 

More  of  Dr.  Simpson's  time  and  energy  than  even  inti- 
mate friends  realized  was  spent  in  business  affairs.  In 
the  beginning  of  his  walk  of  faith  he  resolved  tkat  he 
would  lead  a  self-supporting  Hfe.    He  had  a  large  family, 

A  MAN  OF  ACTION  165 

and  the  financial  demands  upon  him  as  its  head  were 

His  first  step  in  this  direction  was  taken  in  response 
to  the  demand  for  a  Fourfold  Gospel  literature.  He  de- 
cided to  be  his  own  printer,  and  gradually  built  up  a 
plant  which  not  only  produced  the  books  and  papers  which 
he  published  but  later  included  contract  work  in  its  output. 
In  1912  he  sold  his  publishing  business  to  The  Christian 
and  Missionary  Alliance,  but  retained  his  printing  house, 
which  he  continued  till  he  gave  up  all  business  afifairs 
in  1918. 

When  the  Missionary  Institute  and  Berachah  Home 
were  moved  to  Nyack,  a  tract  of  land  was  purchased 
by  a  company  composed  of  several  men  who  had  in  view 
the  establishment  of  an  Alliance  center.  Their  expecta- 
tions in  regard  to  a  settlement  on  the  Hillside  were  not 
fulfilled  as  few  families  made  it  their  home.  To  relieve 
the  company  of  its  embarrassments  Dr.  Simpson,  who 
was  its  President,  took  over  a  large  part  of  the  lands,  and 
this  added  greatly  to  his  burdens. 

Dr.  Simpson  also  engaged  in  other  business  enterprises 
in  New  York  City,  not  all  of  which  were  profitable.  Owing 
to  his  busy  life,  he  was  obliged  to  commit  the  manage- 
ment to  others,  and  his  optimistic  attitude  toward  these 
ventures  was  not  always  justified.  Had  business  been 
his  calling,  some  think  he  would  have  become  one  of  the 
large  financiers.  Certainly  his  mind  was  cast  in  a  mould 
that  would  have  seemed  to  promise  success  in  large 

But  A.  B.  Simpson  was  called  to  be  a  prophet  and  not 
a  business  man.  In  the  work  which  his  Master  appointed 
him  and  in  which,  in  consequence,  the  Holy  Spirit  directed 
him,  he  had  phenomenal  success.     Those  who  have  had 

i66  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

opportunity  to  know  something  of  his  affairs  can  also 
trace  the  loving  hand  of  an  Almighty  Helper  in  his  busi- 
ness life.  Of  this  he  was  himself  very  conscious,  and 
jottings  in  vest  pocket  note-books  prove  that  he  not  only 
prayed  but  also  returned  thanks  for  God's  help  in  his  busi- 
ness difficulties.  There  is  no  question  that  his  business 
was  the  great  burden  that  finally  proved  too  heavy  for 
him.  He  would  have  surrendered  it  in  his  later  years ; 
but  while  his  own  strength  endured,  he  could  see  no  way 
of  deliverance.  When  he  could  no  longer  conduct  it,  he 
acknowledged  to  intimate  associates  that  he  had  been  mis- 
taken in  entering  into  business  and  that  he  should  have 
kept  himself  free,  as  did  the  apostles,  to  give  himself  to 
"prayer  and  to  the  ministry  of  the  word." 

During  the  Annual  Council  of  The  Christian  and  Mis- 
sionary Alliance  in  May,  1918,  Dr.  Simpson  conferred 
with  several  of  his  brethren  in  regard  to  his  business 
affairs.  He  now  felt  that,  as  some  of  these  interests  had 
*  een  closely  associated  with  his  public  ministry,  it  would 
be  fitting  for  him  to  entrust  their  settlement  to  the  So- 
ciety. It  was  found  that  there  were  legal  difficulties  in 
the  way  of  such  action,  and  after  careful  consideration 
he  made  a  complete  assignment  to  Mr.  Franklin  L.  Groff, 
one  of  the  oldest  and  most  trusted  business  men  in  the 
Tabernacle  and  in  the  Alliance,  who  formed  a  Company 
made  up  of  prominent  members  of  these  organizations, 
to  administer  this  trust.  Through  careful  management 
of  these  affairs  under  proper  legal  advice,  this  company 
has  been  enabled  by  favorable  disposition  of  his  holdings, 
and  by  special  supplementary  gifts  and  pledges  from 
friends,  to  provide  for  the  liquidation  of  all  obligations. 

Dr.  Simpson  never  accepted  a  salary  from  the  Gospel 
Tabernacle  nor  even  the  small  living  allowance  granted 

A  MAN  OF  ACTION  167 

to  missionaries  and  executive  officers  of  The  Christian  and 
Missionary  Alliance,  and  often  refused  even  his  traveling 
expenses  to  conventions.  Regarding  this  relationship  to 
his  congregation,  he  more  than  once  said  to  an  associate 
pastor  that  it  might  be  a  very  good  school  of  faith  for 
the  pastor  but  that  it  was  very  bad  discipline  for  the 
flock.  When  he  finally  relinquished  his  business,  the 
Board  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance  gave  him 
an  ample  living  allowance  and  continues  to  provide 
similarly  for  Mrs.  Simpson. 

How  fully  his  intense  life  was  appreciated  by  men  and 
women  of  every  estate,  and  especially  by  the  great  men 
of  action,  was  shown  by  the  tributes  paid  to  him  on  the 
platform,  in  the  press,  and  in  personal  letters  when  he 
was  called  home.  Several,  including  his  old  associate 
Dr.  F.  W.  Farr,  were  reminded  of  the  fiery  prophet  of 
Gilead  and  exclaimed  as  did  Elisha — "My  father,  my 
father,  the  chariot  of  Israel,  and  the  horsemen  thereof !" 
Mr.  W.  R.  Moody,  of  Northfield,  was  most  impressed 
by  "the  faithfulness  of  his  Christian  stewardship,"  and 
adds,  "Untiring  in  his  labors,  unsparing  of  his  time,  he 
wore  himself  out  in  the  service  of  his  Master."  Dr.  Geo. 
H.  Sandison,  Editor  of  The  Christian  Herald,  wrote:  "I 
can  think  of  no  one  in  this  age  who  has  done  more  ef- 
fective, self-denying  service  for  Christ  and  His  Gospel 
than  Albert  B.  Simpson."  "His  missionary  zeal  was  as- 
tounding," said  his  old  friend.  Dr.  George  F.  Pentecost ; 
and  with  this  agrees  another  associate  of  other  days. 
Dean  Arthur  C.  Peck,  who  testifies  that  "his  labors  were 
apostolic  in  both  spirit  and  scope.  No  man  ever  wrought 
more  abundantly  and  successfully  among  the  heathen." 
He  was  "fully  absorbed  in  the  missionary  enterprise  and 
devoted  all  his  energies  to  hasten  the  coming  of  the  King," 

i68  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

is  the  impression  left  upon  Rev.  J.  M.  Pike,  Editor  of 
the  Way  of  Faith.  "I  remember,"  said  Pastor  P.  W. 
Philpott  at  the  Memorial  Service,  "reading-  a  letter  from 
a  boy  to  his  mother  during  the  days  of  war,  in  which  he 
said,  'You  know  it  is  not  how  long  a  man  lives  that  counts  ; 
it  is  what  he  puts  into  life  while  he  is  living.'  And  if 
that  is  true.  Dr.  Simpson  has  lived  about  three  times 
longer  than  any  other  man  of  his  age,  for  he  surely  put 
into  the  last  thirty  years  three  times  as  much  as  the 
ordinary  minister." 

There  must  have  been  some  great  secret  hidden  from 
ordinary  ken,  some  springs  of  action  and  fountains  of 
energy  that  accounted  for  such  a  life.  Here  he  reveals 
one  of  them.  "There  is  no  service  which  God  expects  of 
us  for  which  He  has  not  made  the  fullest  provision  in 
the  infinite  resources  of  His  grace.  We  cannot  dare  too 
much  if  it  be  in  dependence  upon  Him,  for  He  has  given 
us  all  His  fullness,  and  sends  no  one  warring  upon  his 
own  charges."  The  following  quotation  suggests  another 
secret.  "The  power  to  serve  God  is  no  natural  talent  or 
acquired  experience,  but  Christ's  own  life  and  power  in 
us  through  the  Holy  Ghost.  And  no  man  can  serve  God 
without  the  Spirit."  And  yet  another  is  disclosed  in  a 
stanza  from  one  of  his  poems : 

"I  dwell  with  the  King  for  His  work, 

And   the   work,   it  is   His   and   not   mine ; 
He  plans  and  prepares  it  for  me 

And  fills  me  with  power  divine. 
So  duty  is  changed  to  delight. 

And  prayer  into  praise   as   I   sing; 
I  dwell  with  my  King  for  His  work 

And    work   in   the   strength    of    my    King." 

Further,  Dr.  Simpson's  attitude  to  life  was  that  of  the 
Son  of  man  who  "came  not  to  be  ministered  unto  but  to 

A  MAN  OF  ACTION  169 

minister."  "What,"  he  says,  "would  we  think  of  Jesus 
if  we  ever  found  Him  looking  for  His  own  pleasure  or 
consulting  His  own  comfort?"  And  yet  again,  he  had 
felt  the  pulse  of  the  times  for  he  says :  "Everything 
around  us  is  intensely  alive ;  life  is  earnest ;  death  is 
earnest ;  sin  is  earnest ;  men  are  earnest ;  business  is  earn- 
est ;  knowledge  is  earnest ;  the  age  is  earnest ;  God  for- 
give us  if  we  alone  are  trifling  in  the  white  heat  of  this 
crisis  time,"  This  conception  moved  him  to  write  one 
of  his  most  stirring  poems : 

"No  time  for  trifling  in  this  life  of  mine; 

Not  this  the  path   the  blessed  Master  trod, 
But  strenuous  toil ;  each  hour  and  power  employed 
Always  and  all  for  God. 

"Time  swiftly  flies ;   eternity  is  near, 

And  soon  my  dust  may  lie  beneath  the  sod. 
How  dare  I  waste  my  life  or  cease  to  be 
Always  and  all  for  God! 

"I  catch  the  meaning  of  this  solemn  age ; 
With  life's  vast  issues  all  my  soul  is  awed. 
Life  was  not  given  for  trifling ;  it  must  be 
Always  and  all  for  God. 

"I  hear  the  footfalls  of  God's  mighty  hosts 
Whom  God  is  sending  all  the  earth  abroad ; 
Like  them  let  me  be  busy  for  His  cause. 
Always  and  all  for  God." 

There  was  to  him  a  motive  power  in  "The  Blessed 
Hope."  He  sings  "Let  us  live  in  the  light  of  His  coming," 
and  in  the  following  stanza  he  reveals  his  sense  of 
responsibility : 

"Hasting  on  the  coming  of  the  Master, 
Let  us  speed  the  days  that  linger  still; 


Time  is  counted  yonder,  not  by  numbers, 

But  conditions  which  we  may  fulfil. 
If  we  bring  the  "other  sheep"  to  Jesus, 

If  we  send  the  Gospel  everywhere, 
We  may  hasten  forward  His  appearing, 

And  His   blessed  coming  help  prepare." 

Not  the  least  of  these  secrets  was  a  right  apprehension 
of  God.  One  night,  after  he  had  been  meditating  on  the 
ways  of  some  modern  "Quietists,"  he  fell  asleep  and 
dreamed  that  he  saw  an  office  immensely  larger  than  any 
he  had  ever  conceived.  God  was  in  the  midst  of  it  and 
radiating  from  Him  were  visible  electric  waves  which 
reached  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  earth,  everywhere 
creating  intense  activity  but  without  confusion  or  strain. 
The  impression  left  upon  him  when  he  awoke  of  God's 
omnipresence  and  omnipotence  was  lasting.  Thereafter, 
even  more  than  before,  he  was  encouraged  to  "Attempt 
great  things  for  God." 


SOMEONE  with  a  true  conception  of  mysticism  and 
an  intimate  knowledge  of  A.  B.  Simpson  has  called 
him  "the  last  of  the  great  mystics."  From  first  to  last 
his  life  is  a  mystery  if  viewed  from  rationalistic  ground. 
A  mystic  by  hereditary  temperament,  a  Celtic  facility  for 
seeing  the  invisible  struggled  for  the  mastery  of  his  youth- 
ful soul  against  the  cold  logic  of  ultra  Calvinism.  Who 
can  read  the  self  revelation  he  has  given  in  his  reminis- 
cences of  his  conversion  without  sympathetic  pangs? 
There  came  a  day  after  years  of  soul  agony  when  the 
veil  was  rent,  and  he  was  ushered  into  the  followship  of 
the  true  mystics  of  the  ages,  thenceforth,  like  Moses,  to 
"endure  as  seeing  him  who  is  invisible." 

Some  of  Dr.  Simpson's  friends  express  dissent  when 
he  is  referred  to  as  a  mystic,  evidently  because  of  very 
general  misconceptions  of  what  mysticism  is.  These  are 
very  clearly  summarized  by  Professor  W.  K.  Fleming  in 
Mysticism  in  Christianity.  "We  find  three  accusations 
quite  commonly  brought  against  mysticism — that  it  deals 
in  unsafe  and  presumptuous  speculation ;  or  that  it  en- 
courages a  sort  of  extravagant,  unhealthy,  hysterical  self 
hypnotism ;  or  that  it  is  merely  quasi-spiritual  feeling, 
vague,  dreamy,  and  unpractical." 

The  same  writer  replies  that  mysticism  is  not  equivalent 
merely  to  Symbolism ;  that  it  has  nothing  whatever  to 
do  with  occult  pursuits,  magic,  and  the  like,  although  some 
have  lost  their  way  and  floundered  into  this  particular 

172  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

morass ;  that  it  has  no  connection  with  miracle  working 
and  the  like;  that  although  mystics  have  frequently  had 
visions,  mysticism  is  not  a  dreaming  of  dreams  nor  dreami- 
ness at  all ;  and  indeed  that  mystics  have  more  commonly 
than  not  been  known  as  very  practical  men  and  women. 

What  then  is  mysticism  ?  Ewald  says  "it  is  the  craving 
to  be  united  with  God."  Professor  Seth  Pringle-Pattison 
sees  that,  to  the  mystic,  "God  ceases  to  be  an  object  and 
becomes  an  experience."  Professor  Hamack  writes  that 
"Mysticism  is  rationalism  applied  to  a  sphere  above  rea- 
son" ;  and  Dean  Inge,  who  perhaps  is  the  clearest  ex- 
ponent of  this  subject,  makes  Harnack's  statement  read 
"Mysticism  is  reason  applied  to  a  sphere  above  rational- 
ism." This  fairly  well  defines  the  subject  in  general,  but 
stops  far  short  of  Pauline  mysticism. 

Some  writers  have  attempted  to  classify  mystics  into 
extreme  mystics,  who  disregard  everything  but  their 
revelations;  super-rational  mystics  who,  regarding  ordi- 
nary Christian  experience  as  merely  preliminary  to  mys- 
tical communion,  are  indifferent  to  the  externals  of  doc- 
trine, worship,  and  sacraments ;  and  rational  mystics  who 
would  agree  with  Dean  Inge.  If  such  a  classification 
were  complete,  such  men  as  Dr.  Simpson  would  neces- 
sarily be  included  in  the  last  class. 

Within  the  orthodox  fold  a  distinction  is  sometimes 
made  between  the  mystical  and  the  evangelical  method, 
the  mystic  reaching  truth  through  internal  experience  of 
Christ,  while  the  evangelical  attains  it  by  historic  fact — 
"The  Christ  picture  presented  to  the  mind  by  Gospel  his- 
tory," Dr.  Simpson  was  both  truly  mystical  and  thor- 
oughly evangelical.  So  were  the  Apostles  and  many  of 
the  Fathers,  and  so  are  some  of  the  great  men  of  our 
day.    Therefore  we  need  a  better  classification,  and  recog- 


nizing  this,  we  may  safely  say  that  A.  B.  Simpson  was 
one  of  the  school  of  evangelical  mystics. 

Some  have  charged  mystics  with  pessimism,  forgetting 
that  every  prophet  to  a  sterile  age  and  a  backslidden  peo- 
ple is  of  necessity  pessimistic  concerning  his  times  and 
his  compatriots.  So  were  the  Hebrew  prophets  regarded, 
"Which  of  the  prophets  have  not  your  fathers  stoned?" 
asked  Jesus  of  His  own  generation.  But  the  prophet 
and  the  mystic  are  eventually  optimists.  They  see  their 
own  times  clearly  because  they  have  seen  all  time,  and 
eternity,  and  God  Himself.  The  mystic  mounts  up  as 
a  seer  on  wings  like  eagles ;  runs  the  race  of  a  man  with- 
out being  weary ;  and  walks  the  rugged,  thorny  pathway 
of  earth  without  fainting  because  he  waits  upon  the  Lord. 
The  Pauline  mystic  is  always  mightier  than  the  material- 
ist and  more  practical,  for  men  must  always  dream  dreams 
before  they  blaze  new  trails  and  see  visions  before  they 
are  strong  to  do  exploits. 

There  was  a  medieval  mysticism  which  shut  men  up 
in  the  cloister,  and  there  is  still  an  abnormal  mysticism  of 
certain  Christian  sects.  But  there  remains  today  a  pure 
mysticism  which  was  the  very  breath  and  life  of  Biblical 
Judaism,  and  which  is  the  secret  of  the  real  power  of  the 
Church.  Without  this  mysticism  there  never  would  have 
been  a  reformation  or  a  revival.  It  was  a  revelation  that 
saved  Noah ;  a  voice  that  called  Abraham ;  a  burning  bush 
that  transformed  Moses ;  a  vision  that  inspired  Isaiah ;  a 
call  that  strengthened  Jeremiah ;  and  a  visitation  of  the 
Son  of  God  that  recreated  Saul  of  Tarsus.  Augustine, 
Luther,  Calvin,  Knox,  Wesley,  Edwards,  and  Finney 
were  scholars  and  philosophers,  but  it  was  a  knowledge  of 
the  mysteries  of  God  that  made  them  mightier  than  prel- 
acies, thrones,  and  universities. 

174  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

It  was  time  for  another  mystic  to  appear.  Mists  hung 
in  our  valleys  of  experience,  and  clouds  enveloped  our 
mountains  of  vision.  We  were  threatened  with  a  creed- 
less  Church,  a  Christless  education,  and  a  powerless  re- 
ligion. Men  were  wear}'ing  for  some  one  to  lead  them 
directly  to  God,  and  A.  B.  Simpson  was  God's  man  for 
the  hour. 

The  word  mysterion,  which  is  used  in  the  New  Testa- 
ment of  divine  mysteries,  is  derived  from  mystes,  mean- 
ing one  who  was  initiated  into  divine  things.  But  while 
the  Greek  mystic  was  initiated  into  the  secret  circle  of 
the  oracle  and  must  keep  his  mouth  shut — as  the  root 
meaning  of  the  verbal  form  indicates — the  Christian  mys- 
tic was  given  a  glorious  revelation  of  things  which  he  was 
to  declare.  Paul  and  John  indeed  heard  and  saw  some 
things  which  they  could  not  disclose,  but  the  mysteries  of 
divine  grace  were  given  to  them  on  the  terms  stated  by 
Jesus,  "What  I  tell  you  in  the  darkness  speak  ye  in  the 
light,  and  what  ye  hear  in  the  ear  proclaim  upon  the 

These  mysteries  include  the  whole  heritage  of  the  reve- 
lation manifested  to  the  patriarchs  and  to  the  prophets 
of  Israel,  and  which  was  more  perfectly  revealed  in  and 
through  Christ  and  to  His  apostles.  Those  clearly  speci- 
fied in  the  New  Testament  are  the  Mystery  of  God,  of 
God's  W^isdom,  of  Christ,  of  the  Incarnation,  of  the  Gos- 
pel, of  Faith,  of  Christ  in  You,  of  the  Body  of  Christ, 
of  the  Fellow-Heirship  of  the  Gentiles,  of  Our  Inheri- 
tance in  Christ,  of  Iniquity,  of  the  Rapture,  of  Israel,  of 
the  Kingdom,  and  of  Its  Capture  from  Satan. 

Pauline  mysticism  included  all  of  these  and  to  him  all 
of  them  were  essential ;  yet  it  is  on  those  mysteries  which 
pertain  to  Christ  Himself,  whom  he  had  hated,  that  he 


loved  to  dwell.  He  never  recovered  from  the  marvel  that 
to  him,  the  persecutor,  Christ  should  appear  in  person 
and  make  him  the  recipient  of  some  of  these  mysteries. 

When  we  speak  of  A.  B.  Simpson  as  a  Pauline  mystic 
we  mean  that  he  followed  Paul  in  his  comprehension  and 
declaration  of  the  divine  mysteries.  With  the  history  of 
Christian  mysticism  and  its  errors  he  was  conversant, 
but  he  escaped  the  pitfalls  in  this  path  by  overleaping 
them  and  going-  directly  to  Jesus  and  John  and  Paul  for 
his  teaching.  And  herein  he  was  an  evangelical  mystic. 
The  same  safeguard  enabled  him  to  pass  unscathed 
through  a  veritable  vortex  of  current  mysticism.  He 
was  continually  beset  both  by  interviews  and  through  cor- 
respondence by  extremists  and  faddists.  Some  of  the 
leaders  of  modern  movements  would  have  plucked  out 
their  right  eye  to  make  him  a  disciple.  But  he  kept  his 
own  course,  and  that  always  held  right  onward  to  the 
fullness  of  Christ. 

He  was  Pauline  in  his  emphasis.  Perhaps  no  modern 
teacher  had  so  well-rounded  a  theology  or  was  so  safe 
a  guide  in  all  the  mysteries  of  revelation.  But,  while 
he  dealt  simply  and  fearlessly  with  every  revealed  mys- 
tery, he  dwelt  most  upon  the  great  mystery  which  had 
been  specially  revealed  to  Paul — "Christ  in  you,  the  hope 
of  glory,"  whom  he,  like  Paul,  preached,  "warning  every 
man  and  teaching  every  man  in  all  wisdom ;  that  we  may 
present  every  man  perfect  in  Christ." 

He  was  Pauline  in  his  simplicity.  It  is  only  those  who 
try  to  peer  through  a  curtain  who  speak  in  riddles  of 
what  they  see.  Those  who  have  been  behind  the  veil 
come  forth  to  tell  in  simple  terms  what  has  been  revealed 
to  them.  A  child  can  follow  him  in  this  passage  from 
his  great  sermon,    "Himself."      "That    word,    mystery, 

176  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

means  secret.  It  is  the  great  secret.  And  I  can  tell  you 
today,  nay,  I  can  give  you — if  you  will  take  it  from  Him, 
not  from  me — a  secret  which  has  been  to  me,  O,  so  won- 
derful !  A  good  many  years  ago  I  came  to  Him  burdened 
with  guilt  and  fear ;  I  took  that  simple  secret,  and  it  took 
away  all  my  fear  and  sin.  Years  passed  on,  and  I  found 
sin  overcame  me  and  my  temptations  were  too  strong  for 
me.  I  came  to  Him  a  second  time,  and  He  whispered  to 
me,  'Christ  in  you,'  and  I  had  victory,  rest,  and  such  sweet 
blessing  ever  since;  for  more  than  twelve  years  it  has 
been  so  precious." 

This  central  truth  of  Paul's  message  needed  to  be  re- 
stated and  revived  in  the  Church.  As  conservative  a 
teacher  as  Dr.  MacLaren,  of  Manchester,  said  that  "This 
great  truth,  the  Indwelling  Christ,  is  practically  lost  to  the 
Church.  To  me  this  truth,  Christ  in  me  and  I  in  Christ,  is 
the  very  heart  of  Christianity,  for  which  Christ  for  us 
is  the  preface  and  introduction.  You  may  call  it  mysti- 
cism if  you  like.  There  is  no  grasp  of  the  deepest  things 
in  religion  without  that  which  the  irreligious  mind  thinks 
it  has  disposed  of  by  the  cheap  and  easy  sneer  that  it  is 
mystical."  No  man  since  the  days  of  Paul  has  done 
more  to  make  this  vital  truth  of  Christian  life  real  and 
practical  in  the  Church  than  A.  B.  Simpson.  Had  he  done 
nothing  else  and  nothing  more,  he  still  would  live  as  one 
of  the  greatest  men  of  the  age. 

Paul's  mysticism  was  crystallized  in  the  phrase,  "Christ 
in  you  the  hope  of  glory."  This  became  the  very  heart  of 
A.  B.  Simpson's  message. 

"This    is    my    wonderful    story; 
Christ  to  my  heart  has  come; 
Jesus,  the  King  of  glory, 
Finds  in  my  heart  a  home." 


Inseparable  from  this  in  Jesus'  teaching  and  in  the 
Pauline  doctrine  is  the  other  mystery,  "in  Christ."  The 
two  are  one  in  Dr.  Simpson's  experience  and  expression. 
He  thus  concludes  the  hymn  quoted, 

"Now  in  His  bosom  confiding, 
This  my  glad  song  shall  be, 
I  am  in  Jesus  abiding; 
Jesus  abides  in  me." 

This  mystic  union  with  Christ  appears  in  every  phase 
of  his  teaching.  Salvation  is  not  the  outcome  of  faith 
in  a  mere  historic  fact,  but  identification  with  Christ  in 
His  very  death. 

"I  am  crucified  with  Jesus, 

And  the  Christ  hath  set  me  free ; 
I    have   risen   again   with   Jesus, 
And  He  lives  and  reigns  in  me. 

"Mystery  hid  from  ancient  ages 

But  at  length  to   faith  made  plain, 
Christ  in  me,  the  Hope  of  Glory ; 
Tell  it  o'er  and  o'er  again." 

Perhaps  none  of  the  mystics  since  John  and  Paul  have 
approached  him  in  his  daring  assumption  of  the  rights  of 
redemption,  and  nowhere  has  he  made  so  bold  in  his  ut- 
terance as  in  his  hymn,  "Even  as  He."  If  it  were  not 
true,  it  would  be  blasphemy ;  but  some  one  printed  it  on 
a  leaflet  and  sent  it  broadcast  with  a  Scripture  reference 
to  every  line,  the  application  of  which  was  indisputable. 

It  begins, 

"Oh,  what  a  wonderful  place 
Jesus  has  given  to  me ! 
Saved  by  His  glorious  grace, 
I  may  be  even  as  He. 

178  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

When  with  my  Lord  I  appear, 

Like  Him  I  know  I  shall  be ; 
But  while  I   walk  with  Him  here, 

I  may  be  even  as  He." 

And  so  the  Iiymn  sweeps  on  through  all  of  the  experi- 
ences through  which  our  living  Head  passed,  from  the 
cradle  to  the  coronation,  claiming  everywhere  our  right 
of  identification  with  Plim. 

To  him  the  coming  of  the  Lord  was  not  so  much  an 
event  as  a  Person,  an  eternal  and  inseparable  union  with 

"Some  sweet  hour  our  mortal   frame 
Shall  His  glorious  image  wear ; 
Some    sweet    hour    our    worthless    name 
All  His  majesty  shall  share." 

Naturally  we  have  turned  to  Dr.  Simpson's  poems,  be- 
cause poetry  is  both  the  gift  and  the  expression  of  mysti- 
cism. His  prose  writings,  however,  are  quite  as  rich. 
After  his  life  crisis,  it  seemed  impossible  for  him  to 
preach  a  sermon  or  write  an  article  which  was  not  per- 
meated with  the  mysteries  of  the  Gospel. 

The  eftect  upon  his  ministry  is  revealed  in  a  confession 
which  he  makes  in  The  Fulness  of  Jesus.  "1  am  always 
ashamed  to  say  it,  but  it  is  true,  that  in  the  years  that  I 
did  not  know  Christ  as  an  indwelling  Spirit  in  my  heart, 
I  never  had  a  single  Christian  come  to  speak  to  me  about 
their  spiritual  life.  I  was  a  pastor  for  ten  years  before 
this,  and  in  all  those  ten  years  I  seldom  had  a  Christian 
come  to  me  and  say,  'Dear  pastor,  I  want  you  to  tell  me 
how  to  enter  into  a  deeper  Christian  life.'  I  had  sinners 
come  because  I  knew  something  about  forgiveness,  and 
so  I  could  preach  to  them.  But  the  very  moment  that 
God  came  into  my  heart  and  gave  me  this   indwelling 


Christ,  the  hungry  Christians  began  to  come  to  me;  and 
from  that  time,  for  years,  hundreds  have  come  to  be 
helped  to  find  the  Lord  as  a  personal  indwelHng  Hfe  and 

So,  too,  he  found  in  this  the  secret  of  Christian  unity. 
He  writes  in  Words  of  Comfort  for  Tried  Ones:  "It 
is  as  we  are  united  to  Him  that  we  are  attached  to  each 
other,  and  all  Christian  unity  depends  upon  oneness  with 
the  Lord.  The  secret  of  Christian  union  is  not  platforms, 
creeds,  or  even  cooperative  work,  but  it  is  one  life,  one 
heart,  one  spirit,  in  the  fellowship  and  love  of  Jesus 

He  escaped  controversy  and  became  a  great  reconciling 
force  in  theology  by  holding  to  this  mystical  treatment  of 
the  great  issues.  His  most  widely  circulated  and  most 
God-honored  tract,  "Himself,"  was  an  impromptu  ad- 
dress given  at  the  Bethshan  Conference  in  1885  on  an 
afternoon  when  the  most  conflicting  theories  of  sanctifica- 
tion  had  been  assertively  proclaimed.  Referring  to  it 
years  afterwards,  he  said,  "We  were  delighted  to  find  at 
the  close  of  the  services  that  all  parties  could  unite  in  this 
testimony  and  around  this  common  center." 

He  discovered  that  power  is  not  committed  to  us,  but 
communicated  through  this  mystic  union,  and  states  this 
simply  in  The  Siveetest  Christian  Life.  "Let  us  carefully 
note  that  this  power  is  all  centered  in  a  Person,  namely, 
the  living  Christ.  It  is  not  so  much  power  communi- 
cated to  him  to  be  at  his  own  control  and  disposal  as  a 
dynamo  or  battery  might  be ;  but  the  power  remains  in 
the  Person  of  Christ  and  is  only  shared  by  him  while  he 
is  in  direct  union  and  communion  with  the  Lord  Himself." 

To  him  it  was  the  secret  of  the  overcoming  life.  Thou- 
sands have  read  this  passage  from  his  book  of  morning 

i8o  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

devotions,  Days  of  Heaven  upon  Earth.  "A  precious 
secret  of  Christian  life  is  to  have  Jesus  dweUing  within 
and  conquering  things  that  we  never  could  overcome.  It 
is  the  only  secret  of  power  in  your  life  and  mine.  Men 
cannot  understand  it,  nor  will  the  world  believe  it,  but  it 
is  true  that  God  will  come  and  dwell  within  us,  and  be 
the  power  and  the  purity  and  the  victory  and  the  joy 
of  our  life." 

He  saw  the  weakness  in  Thomas  A.  Kempis'  presenta- 
tion, Imitatioti  of  Christ,  and  we  find  him  writing:  "It 
is  Christ  Himself  who  comes  to  imitate  Himself  in  us 
and  reproduce  His  own  life  in  the  lives  of  His  followers. 
This  is  the  mystery  of  the  Gospel.  This  is  the  secret  of 
the  Lord.  This  is  the  power  that  sanctifies,  that  fills,  that 
keeps  the  consecrated  heart.  This  is  the  only  way  that 
we  can  be  like  Christ." 

He  also  felt  keenly  the  lack  in  some  of  the  schools 
of  holiness,  as  this  terse  statement  shows.  "Even  the 
teachers  of  holiness  are  in  danger  of  substituting  it  for 
Him,  a  clean  heart  for  the  divine  nature.  The  mystery 
of  godliness  is  Christ  in  you  the  hope  of  glory.  The  end 
of  all  experience  is  union  with  God."  Nevertheless,  he 
goes  far  beyond  these  teachers,  for  he  says,  "Redemption 
is  not  the  restoration  of  fallen  man,  but  the  new  creation 
of  a  redeemed  family  under  the  headship  of  the  second 
Adam,  on  an  infinitely  higher  plane  than  even  unfallen 
humanity  could  ever  have  reached  alone.  We  are  first 
born  of  Christ,  and  then  united  to  Him,  just  as  Eve 
was  formed  out  of  her  husband  and  then  wedded  to  Him. 
So  the  redeemed  soul  is  formed  out  of  the  Saviour  and 
then  united  to  Him  in  an  everlasting  bond  of  love  and 
unity,  more  intimate  than  any  human  relationship  can 
ever  express." 


Nor  would  he  give  ground  to  those  teachers  who  make 
the  terms  of  intimate  union  used  in  the  New  Testament 
mere  figures.  "This  is  not  a  beautiful  figure  of  speech, 
but  it  is  a  real  visitation  of  God.  I  wonder  if  we  know 
what  this  means.  Does  it  seem  an  awful  thing  to  have 
God  visit  us?  My  idea  of  it  used  to  be  that  it  would 
kill  a  person.  It  would  be  more  than  he  could  stand.  And 
yet  it  is  represented  in  God's  Word  as  an  actual  visitation. 
Christ  is  not  to  be  an  outside  influence  which  moves  on 
our  emotions  and  feelings  and  elevates  us  into  a  sublime 
idea  of  God,  but  the  real  presence  of  Christ  has  come 
within  us  to  remain,  and  He  brings  with  Him  all  His 
resources  of  help  and  love  and  mighty  power," 

No  one  who  knows  Dr.  Simpson's  life  would  accuse 
him  of  holding  the  errors  of  Quietism.  Yet  in  one  of 
his  most  widely  scattered  leaflets,  The  Pozver  of  Still- 
ness, he  confesses  that  from  the  Quietists  he  learned  a 
truth  which  was  one  of  the  secrets  of  his  life.  "A  score 
of  years  ago  a  friend  placed  in  my  hand  a  little  book 
which  led  me  to  one  of  the  turning  points  in  my  life.  It 
was  an  old  medieval  message,  and  it  had  but  one  thought 
and  it  was  this,  that  God  was  waiting  in  the  depth  of  my 
being  to  talk  with  me  if  I  would  only  get  still  enough  to 
hear  Him, 

"I  thought  that  this  would  be  a  very  easy  matter,  so  I 
began  to  get  still.  But  I  had  no  sooner  commenced  than 
a  perfect  pandemonium  of  voices  reached  my  ears,  a 
thousand  clamoring  notes  from  without  and  within,  until 
I  could  hear  nothing  but  their  noise  and  their  din.  Some 
of  them  were  my  own  questions,  some  of  them  my  own 
cares,  some  of  them  my  own  prayers.  Others  were  the 
suggestions  of  the  tempter  and  the  voices  of  the  world's 
turmoil.     Never  before  did  there  seem  so  many  things 

i82  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

to  be  done,  to  be  said,  to  be  thought ;  and  in  every  direc- 
tion I  was  pulled,  and  pushed,  and  greeted  with  noisy 
acclamations  and  unspeakable  unrest.  It  seemed  neces- 
sary for  me  to  listen  to  some  of  them,  but  God  said,  'Be 
still  and  know  that  I  am  God.'  Then  came  the  conflict 
of  thoughts  for  the  morrow,  and  its  duties  and  cares, 
but  God  said,  'Be  still' 

"And  as  I  listened  and  slowly  learned  to  obey  and 
shut  my  ears  to  every  sound,  I  found  that  after  a  while, 
when  the  other  voices  ceased  or  I  ceased  to  hear  them, 
there  was  a  still,  small  voice  in  the  depth  of  my  spirit. 
As  I  listened,  it  became  to  me  the  power  of  prayer  and 
the  voice  of  wisdom  and  the  call  of  duty,  and  I  did  not 
need  to  think  so  hard,  or  pray  so  hard,  or  trust  so  hard, 
but  that  still,  small  voice  of  the  Holy  Spirit  in  my  heart 
was  God's  prayer  in  my  secret  soul  and  God's  answer  to 
all  my  questions." 

He  had  also  learned  that  the  secret  of  maintaining 
this  union  with  Christ  is  the  Mystery  of  Faith.  "It  means 
staying  in  God.  When  the  dear  Lord  led  me  into  this 
place,  I  entered  it  without  any  feeling  whatever,  and 
simply  trusted  Him  for  everything.  But  after  several 
months  I  found  there  was  a  great  change  in  my  feelings. 
Then  I  immediately  turned  around  and  trusted  the  change 
and  became  happy  and  buoyant  because  I  was  changed. 
It  completely  rooted  up  my  faith.  I  had  taken  up  the 
little  plant  of  trust  from  the  soil  God  meant  it  to  live 
in  and  planted  it  in  a  hot  bed  of  my  own  preparing,  and, 
of  course,  it  died.  Ah,  how  many  trust  in  their  own  feel- 
ings or  their  own  altered  circumstances !  This  is  not 
abiding  in  Christ." 

Such  a  life  was  the  ideal  which  he  held  before  him  for 
his  spiritual  children.    To  an  extent  that  perhaps  he  never 


dared  to  hope  his  desire  has  been  realized  not  only  in 
his  own  congregation  and  the  numberless  persons  who 
crowded  the  great  conventions,  but  also  far  away  in 
heathen  lands.  There  has  arisen  a  church,  an  elect  of 
God  from  among  all  nations,  whose  enlightened  eyes  have 
seen  things  invisible  and  whose  hearts  burn  with  some- 
thing of  Paul's  passion  to  declare  the  mystery  of  the 
Gospel,  even  though  it  should  lead  them,  as  it  did  the 
apostle,  to  prison  and  to  bonds. 



SOME  one  who  wished  to  discover  the  secret  of  the 
Hfe  of  Bengel  hid  himself  in  his  study  to  see  and  hear 
him  pray.  After  hours  of  work  upon  his  Commentary  the 
saintly  student  rose,  looked  upward,  and  said,  "Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  things  stand  with  us  on  the  old  terms." 

If  we  are  to  know  Dr.  Simpson,  we  must  reverently 
approach  his  prayer  closet.  We  may  be  as  greatly  sur- 
prised as  was  Bengel's  friend,  for  every  mystic  has  learned 
the  simplicity  and  the  continuity  of  prayer. 

Prayer  is  one  of  the  mysteries.  In  his  discussion  of  the 
supernatural  in  Present  Truth  Dr.  Simpson  says,  "There 
is  no  wonder  more  supernatural  and  divine  in  the  life 
of  the  believer  than  the  mystery  and  the  ministry  of 
prayer  .  .  .  wonder  of  wonders !  Mystery  of  mysteries ! 
Miracle  of  miracles !  The  hand  of  the  child  touching  the 
arm  of  the  Father  and  moving  the  wheels  of  the  universe. 
Beloved,  this  is  your  supernatural  place  and  mine,  and 
over  its  gates  we  read  the  inspiring  invitation,  "Thus 
saith  Jehovah,  call  unto  me  and  I  will  answer  thee  and 
show  thee  great  and  mighty  things  which  thou  knowest 

This  promise,  given  to  Jeremiah,  was  Dr.  Simpson's 
great  life  text,  and  became  the  foundation  of  that  daring 
faith  which  was  the  secret  of  his  mighty  ministry.  It 
led  him  to  exhort  us  to  "see  that  our  highest  ministry  and 
power  is  to  deal  with  God  for  men"  and  to  believe  that 
"our  highest  form  of  service  is  the  ministry  of  prayer.." 

A  MAN  OF  PRAYER  185 

Dr.  Simpson  had  solved  the  secret  of  service  when  he 
learned  the  mystery  of  prayer.  In  prayer  he  received  a 
vision  of  God's  will.  Through  further  prayer  he  ascer- 
tained God's  plans  for  the  carrying  out  of  His  will.  Still 
praying,  he  was  empowered  to  execute  those  plans.  More 
prayer  brought  the  supply  of  every  need  for  the  work. 
Continuing  still  in  prayer,  he  was  able  to  carry  through 
what  he  had  begun.  Praying  always,  a  spirit  of  praise 
and  adoration  welled  up  in  his  heart,  and  God  received  all 
the  glory  for  everything  that  was  accomplished. 

To  Dr.  Simpson  prayer  was  not  an  exercise  or  a  ritual, 
but  a  life.  In  the  introduction  to  The  Life  of  Prayer  he 
exclaims:  "The  Life  of  Prayer!  Great  and  sacred 
theme !  It  leads  us  into  the  Holy  of  Holies  and  the  secret 
place  of  the  Most  High.  It  is  the  very  life  of  the  Chris- 
tian, and  it  touches  the  very  life  of  God  Himself." 

This  life  of  prayer  was  to  him  a  phase  of  the  Spirit- 
filled  Hfe.  We  find  him  writing,  "The  Holy  Ghost  is  the 
source  and  substance  of  all  that  prayer  can  ask,  and  a  gift 
that  carries  with  it  the  pledge  of  all  other  gifts  and  bless- 
ings. In  the  parallel  passages  in  Matthew  and  Luke 
"the  Holy  Spirit"  and  "all  good  things"  are  synonymous. 
He  that  has  the  Holy  Spirit  shall  have  all  good  things." 
And  again  we  read,  "Praying  in  the  Holy  Ghost  means 
simply  this :  When  the  Holy  Ghost  comes  in.  He  comes 
as  a  living  person  and  takes  charge  of  the  whole  life,  plan- 
ning for  us,  watching  over  us,  fitting  into  every  need  for 
every  moment,  for  there  is  not  a  moment  when  He  is  not 
trying  to  pray  in  us  some  prayer," 

Though  he  knew  that  faith  is  essential  in  true  prayer 
and  emphasized  this,  he  also  knew  that  "we  will  not  have 
much  of  the  divine  element  of  holy  faith  in  us  unless  we 
feed  it  day  by  day  with  prayer.    We  must  live  a  life  of 

i86  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

constant  prayer."     He  often  quoted  Montgomery's  lines 

"Prayer  is  the  Christian's  vital  breath 
The  Christian's  native  air ;" 

Prayer,  as  Dr.  Simpson  came  to  understand  it,  was  one 
of  the  expressions  of  union  with  Christ.  He  Hked  to  refer 
to  Dr.  Robert  E.  Speer's  remark  to  a  friend  that  normal 
Christian  living  is  the  attitude  of  mind  and  heart  that 
reverts  immediately  to  consciousness  of  Christ  when  re- 
leased from  absorbing  affairs.  In  one  of  the  issues  of 
the  Tabernacle  Sermons  where  the  indwelling  of  Christ  is 
vividly  presented,  this  personal  experience  is  given :  "I  go 
back  in  memory  this  morning  to  the  time  when  He  first 
came  to  me  in  this  way  and  taught  me  to  trust  His  pres- 
ence and  lean  in  prayer  upon  Him  every  moment.  I 
came  to  realize  it  quietly,  for  there  was  nothing  startling 
about  it.  Day  after  day  the  consciousness  became  clearer 
that  God  was  here.  I  did  not  have  to  mount  up  to  the  sky 
to  find  Him.  I  never  whispered  to  Him  but  He  answered, 
'Here  am  I.'  Oh,  how  precious  it  is  to  be  overshadowed 
thus  by  the  cloud  of  His  presence." 

So  to  him  prayer  was  a  habit  of  life,  a  free  companion- 
ship with  an  almighty,  omniscent,  omnipresent  Friend.  In 
one  of  his  books  for  daily  devotion,  he  gave  us  this  coun- 
sel :  "An  important  help  in  the  life  of  prayer  is  the  habit 
of  bringing  everything  to  God,  moment  by  moment,  as  it 
comes  to  us  in  life."  He  had  found  that  the  command 
"Pray  without  ceasing"  meant  that  we  were  to  make  re- 
quest "for  such  things  as  we  need  in  our  common  life 
from  day  to  day.  This  is,  after  all,  the  real  secret  of  con- 
stant prayer.  In  no  other  way  can  we  intelligently  pray 
without  ceasing  without  stepping  aside  from  the  path  of 
daily  duty  and  neglecting  the  callings  of  life  and  the  obli- 

A  MAN  OF  PRAYER  187 

gations  of  our  various  situations.  There  are  very  few  that 
can  spend  an  entire  day  and  none  that  can  devote  every 
day  and  every  hour  to  abstract  devotion  and  internal 
communion  with  God  about  things  quite  removed  from 
the  ordinary  things  of  life ;  and,  even  if  this  could  be  done, 
it  would  simply  develop  monasticism,  which  has  never 
been  a  wholesome  type  of  Christian  experience.  It  needs 
the  coloring  of  actual  life  to  give  vitality,  reality,  and 
practical  force  to  our  communion  with  God." 

His  confidence  in  prayer  was  rooted  in  his  knowledge 
of  the  immeasurable  reaches  of  redemption,  and  because 
of  this  he  could  not  only  ask  boldly  himself  but  lead 
others  to  ask  and  receive.  When  a  young  lady  came  to 
his  office  to  ask  him  to  pray  for  her,  he  finally  solved  her 
perplexities  by  saying,  "Suppose  a  friend  were  to  deposit 
$100  at  Macy's  and  say  'I  want  you  to  get  whatever  you 
wish',  but  you  were  to  say,  'Mr.  Macy,  I  would  not  dare 
to  buy  a  hundred  dollars'  worth'.  Would  he  not  say,  'The 
money  is  paid  and  is  to  your  credit ;  you  are  very  foolish 
if  you  do  not  get  the  benefit  of  it.'  That  is  the  way  we  go 
to  God.  We  have  nothing  to  present  to  Him  as  a  claim, 
but  on  the  books  of  God  to  our  credit,  the  infinite  right- 
eousness of  Christ  has  been  deposited,  and  God  comes 
and  says :  Tn  his  name  ask  my  help  as  far  as  that  credit 
will  go.'  You  have  not  any  right,  but  He  has  the  right, 
and  He  gives  it  to  you.  'Oh,'  said  the  young  lady,  'I  see 
it.    Why,  I  think  I  could  ask  God  for  anything  now'." 

Some  say  that  we  should  ask  once  for  a  thing  and 
leave  it  with  God.  Not  so  Dr.  Simpson.  "What  did  Paul 
do  ?  The  right  thing.  He  prayed  and  prayed  and  prayed. 
So  should  you.  It  is  all  right  to  pray  and  to  pray  again 
and  to  pray  yet  again  and  to  pray  until  God  answers  you. 
Paul  prayed  until  God  answered  him.    He  said,  'Paul,  I 

i88  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

have  to  disappoint  you.  I  am  not  going  to  take  this  thorn 
away'."  How  sanely  he  presented  this  in  one  of  his  Fri- 
day meeting  talks.  "Probably  this  is  the  best  rule  about 
prayer,  to  pray  until  we  understand  the  mind  of  the  Lord 
about  it,  and  get  sufficient  light,  direction,  and  comfort  to 
satisfy  our  hearts.  There  is  such  a  thing  as  vain  repeti- 
tion, and  there  is  such  a  thing  as  supplication  and  contin- 
unance  in  prayer.  The  Spirit  must  guide  rightly  in  each 
case,  but  a  heaven-taught  heart  will  pray  until  it  cannot 
pray  any  more.  As  soon  as  the  assurance  comes,  we 
should  stop  praying,  and  henceforth  everything  should  be 

Deeper  than  his  own  consciousness  there  was  in  Dr. 
Simpson's  life  what  he  calls  "wordless  prayer."  He 
speaks  of  this  in  Days  of  Heaven.  "In  the  consecrated 
believer  the  Holy  Spirit  is  pre-eminently  a  Spirit  of 
prayer.  If  our  whole  being  is  committed  to  Him,  and 
our  thoughts  are  at  His  bidding.  He  will  occupy  every 
moment  in  communion  and  occupy  everything  as  it  comes, 
and  we  shall  pray  it  out  in  our  spiritual  consciousness  be- 
fore we  act  it  out  in  our  lives.  We  shall,  therefore,  find 
ourselves  taking  up  the  burdens  of  life  and  praying  them 
out  in  a  wordless  prayer  which  we  ourselves  often  cannot 
understand,  but  which  is  simply  the  unfolding  of  His 
thought  and  will  within  us,  and  which  will  be  followed  by 
the  unfolding  of  His  providence  concerning  us." 

This  unbroken  fellowship  was  maintained  by  definite 
communion  and  intercession.  It  was  Dr.  Simpson's  habit 
to  spend  a  time,  after  he  had  laid  his  work  aside  each 
night,  in  unhindered,  conscious  fellowship  with  Christ. 
He  called  it  his  love  life,  and  it  was  as  real  to  him  as 
the  interchange  of  thought  and  feeling  between  the  most 
devoted  lovers.    It  was  his  daily  renewal  of  life,  his  rest 

A  MAN  OF  PRAYER  189 

before  sleep,  his  outgiving  of  worship  and  adoration,  and 
his  inbreathing  of  the  very  fullness  of  God.  When  for  a 
little  time  this  fellowship,  unbroken  for  years,  was 
clouded,  he  was  like  a  weaned  child,  and  those  who  had 
the  privilege  of  intimacy  with  him  in  the  last  months  of 
his  life  can  never  forget  his  satisfaction  when  his  wearied 
brain  found  abiding  rest  in  the  restored  consciousness  of 
the  continuous  presence  of  his  Lord. 

Such  was  his  life  of  fellowship.  But  his  closet  prayer 
was  more  than  communion.  "Perhaps,"  he  says,  "the 
highest  ministry  of  prayer  is  for  others."  He  knew  the 
meaning  of  a  "burden"  of  prayer.  He  carried  his  con- 
gregation, his  world-wide  constituency,  but  most  of  all 
his  missionaries  in  his  heart.  Sometimes  when  an  over- 
whelming burden  was  upon  him  for  some  far-away  mis- 
sionary it  would  be  explained  by  a  cable  calling  for  prayer 
for  this  very  person.  The  various  departments  of  the 
many  sided  work,  his  private  business  concerns,  his  fam- 
ily and  personal  friends  called  for  continual  intercession. 

How  pressing  were  those  demands  for  prayer  no  one 
but  he  and  his  Lord  ever  knew,  for  he  treated  his  prayer 
life  as  confidential  business  with  God.  In  his  vest  pocket 
diary  were  found  memos  of  these  needs,  sometimes  for 
his  children,  at  other  times  for  his  associates,  and  often 
for  financial  demands.  An  ejaculatory  prayer  such  as 
"Thou  knowest,  Lord,"  usually  followed.  Very  fre- 
quently on  the  same  date,  or  soon  after,  was  written  some 
such  grateful  acknowledgment  as  "Praise  God,  need  met !" 

His  testings  of  faith  were  often  severe.  In  a  record  of 
the  early  days  in  New  York  he  frankly  acknowledged 
that,  "The  pastor  receives  no  salary  whatever,  nor  a  sin- 
gle penny  from  the  ordinary  revenues  of  the  church.  From 
the  first  he  placed  all  he  had  at  God's  service  and  trusted 


Him  alone  for  himself  and  family.  He  has  no  private 
means  whatever,  but  the  wants  of  his  family  are  daily 
supplied  by  the  providential  care  of  God.  Often  when  there 
was  nothing  left  and  when  no  mortal  dreamed  of  their 
need,  God  has  prompted  some  heart  to  call  or  send  exactly 
the  amount  required." 

An  incident  recalled  by  Mrs.  Simpson  bears  out  his 
statement.  "We  had  moved  from  the  comfortable  Manse 
on  Thirty-second  Street  to  a  little  four-room  apartment. 
One  morning  we  had  nothing  for  breakfast  but  oatmeal. 
Not  being  able  to  trust  the  Lord  as  my  husband  was  do- 
ing, I  went  out  and  for  the  first  time  in  my  life  ordered 
supplies  for  which  I  could  not  pay.  For  some  days  Mr. 
Simpson  received  very  little  money.  Sometimes  he  would 
come  in  with  a  small  piece  of  meat  or  some  other  neces- 
sity. One  morning  1  received  a  letter  from  a  lady  in 
Philadelphia,  whom  I  did  not  know,  containing  a  check 
for  one  hundred  and  fifty  dollars.  I  hurried  over  to  the 
church  office  to  have  Mr.  Simpson  cash  it  at  a  neighbor- 
ing bank,  and  then  made  the  rounds  of  the  stores  to  pay 
the  bills.  That  was  the  first  and  last  time  I  ever  bought 
anything  for  which  I  could  not  pay." 

This  life  of  intercession  was  the  secret  of  his  successful 
public  ministry.  No  one  knew  this  so  well  as  he,  for  in 
The  King's  Business  he  says :  "I  have  noticed  that  those 
wHo  claim  and  expect  souls  for  God  have  them  given  to 
them ;  and,  for  myself,  I  never  dare  to  preach  to  the  un- 
saved without  first  claiming  alone  with  God  the  real  birth 
of  souls,  and  receiving  the  assurance  of  His  quickening 
and  new-creating  life  distinctly  for  this  end.  If  I  fail  to 
do  this,  I  am  usually  disappointed  in  the  results  of  the 

His  private  prayer  life  also  explains  the  power  that 

A  MAN  OF  PRAVKR  191 

Dr.  Simpson  had  in  public  prayer  and  in  intercession  with 
fndividuals.  Who  can  forget  the  prayers  he  offered  in  his 
pulpit  or  the  petitions  which  he  poured  forth  as  he  knelt 
beside  some  needy  soul?  Rev.  Kenneth  Mackenzie  aptly 
expresses  our  feeling :  "My  memory  recalls  most  vividly 
his  unction  in  prayer.  Though  I  hated  to  have  to  en- 
croach upon  him  for  this  ministry,  I  never  came  away 
from  his  presence  without  a  deepened  sense  of  the  near- 
ness of  the  Lord.  No  one  can  describe  that  power  which 
he  so  charmingly  expressed  as  he  poured  out  his  soul  in 
unselfish  importunity  for  others.  It  would  be  sacrilegious 
to  try.  But  thousands  have  known  it  and  blessed  God  for 

Mrs.  A.  A.  Kirk,  who  for  some  years  was  associated 
with  Dr.  Simpson  in  the  Missionary  Institute,  recalls  that 
on  the  occasion  of  her  first  meeting  with  him  he  prayed 
"Oh,  Lord,  may  she  be  the  mother  of  a  thousand,"  and 
that  undreamed  of  enlargement  of  ministry  came  to  her. 
She  is  but  one  of  hundreds  who  look  back  to  a  moment 
when  a  Spirit-inspired  prayer  breathed  through  him  by 
the  Spirit  of  God  opened  the  gates  into  a  life  of  ministry 
in  the  power  of  the  Highest. 

On  one  occasion  Dr.  Simpson  was  holding  a  conven- 
tion in  the  Scranton  Valley.  A  child  was  dying  of  diph- 
theria in  one  of  the  Alliance  families,  and  threats  were 
being  made  against  the  parents  and  Rev.  W.  T.  Mac- 
Arthur.  After  the  evening  meeting  Mr.  MacArthur  told 
Mr.  Simpson  of  the  circumstances  and  asked  him  to  go 
to  see  the  child.  Together  they  knelt  at  the  little  bedside. 
'Tt  seemed,"  says  Mr.  MacArthur,  "as  if  a  great  giant 
had  stooped  his  shoulders  under  an  insuperable  burden. 
But  it  presently  began  to  give  way,  and  we  were  all  lifted 
up  into  the  very  presence  of  God.     Then  he  said,  'Now, 

192  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Mac,  you  pray.'  But  there  was  nothing  to  pray  for.  We 
all  knew  that  the  child  was  healed,  and  when  the  physician 
came  in  the  morning,  his  mouth  was  stopped." 

How  aptly  he  would  turn  everything  into  fuel  for  the 
fires  of  prayer  is  shown  by  an  illustration  in  his  first 
missionary  magazine  The  Gospel  in  All  Lands.  "1  will 
kill  you,"  said  a  gentleman  on  the  deck  of  a  vessel,  as  he 
held  a  pistol  to  the  head  of  a  workman  by  his  side,  "I 
will  kill  you  on  the  spot  if  you  stop  those  bellows  for  a 
single  second ;  my  brother  is  down  in  that  diving-bell ; 
that  tube  must  supply  him  with  the  air  he  breathes  every 
moment,  and  you  hold  his  breath  in  your  hands.  Be 
steady'."  Then  he  compared  this  to  "holding  in  our 
hands  by  believing  prayer  the  vital  breath  of  men  and 
women  who  have  gone  down  into  the  engulfing  waves  of 
heathenism,  while  we  close  the  tube,  drop  the  bellows,  and 
forget  their  desperate  need."  He  also  used  it  in  one  of 
his  most  pathetic  missionary  hymns,  the  first  verse  of 
which  reads 

"Down  amid  the  depths  of  heathen  darkness 

There  are  heroes  true  and  brave; 
Shrinking  not  from  death,  or  toil,  or  danger. 

They  have  gone  to  help  and  save. 
But  we  hear  them  crying,  'Do  not  leave  us 

Mid  these  dreadful   depths  to  drown; 
Let  us   feel  your  arms  of  pray'r  around  us ; 

Hold  the  ropes  as  we  go  down'." 

Many  of  his  sweetest  hymns  were  born  in  prayer  and 
lift  us  as  his  own  heart  was  lifted  into  the  very  presence 
of  God  in  intercession,  aspiration,  adoration  and  praise. 
Some  have  even  felt  that  they  must  cease  to  pray  as  they 
followed  him  into  the  heights  and  depths  of  his  passionate 
prayer  life.  Who  of  us  was  not  humbled  when  he  first 

A  MAN  OF  PRAYER  193 

"O  Love  that  gave  itself  for  me, 

Help  me  to  love  and  live  like  Thee, 
And  kindle  in  this  heart  of  mine 
The  passion  fire  of  love  divine. 

"Set  all  my  ransomed  powers  on  fire; 

Give   me   the  love   that   naught   can   tire, 
And  kindle  in  this  heart  of  mine 
The  living  fire  of  zeal  divine. 

"O  Holy  Ghost,  for  Thee  I  cry ; 

Baptize  with  power  from  on  high, 
And  kindle  in  this  heart  of  mine 
The  living  fire  of  power  divine. 

"Help  me  to  pray  till  all  my  soul 

Shall  move  and  bend  at  Thy  control. 
And  kindle  in  this  heart  of  mine, 
The  living  fire  of  power  divine. 

With  such  a  leader  the  AlHance  could  not  but  be  a 
prayer  movement.  It  was  born  in  the  soul  agony  of  a 
man  w^ho  had  seen  a  vision  and  had  paid  the  price  of  his 
dream.  It  has  been  nourished  on  prayer.  His  desire  to 
keep  it  simple  and  always  dependent  upon  the  Lord  was 
a  passion.  When  he  could  no  longer  preach  or  use  his 
pen,  he  prayed  night  and  day  for  his  spiritual  children 
and  for  the  great  purpose  into  which  they  had  been  called. 
While  we  pray  as  he  prayed,  we  shall  continue  to  carry  on 
the  work  which  God  gave  him  to  do  and  which  is  left  for 
us  to  finish. 



WHEN  we  speak  of  a  modern  proprhet,  some  will 
take  it  as  an  epithet  applied  to  eulogy,  an  exaggera- 
tion of  a  preacher's  gifts  for  the  sake  of  effect.  Others 
will  question  our  point  of  view,  for  there  is  a  very  wide 
spread  notion  that  there  are  no  prophets  today.  The  pop- 
ular idea  is  that  prophets  lived  in  Bible  times  and  pre- 
dicted coming  events.  On  the  other  hand  the  rationalistic 
wing  of  the  modern  school  regards  the  prophet  as  a  states- 
man and  reformer  dealing  with  the  social,  political,  ethical 
and  religious  problems  of  his  time,  and  that  there  is  no 
essential  difference  between  the  prophets  of  the  Bible 
and  men  of  this  type  today.  Both  of  these  views  are  im- 
perfect and  misleading. 

The  Bible  is  very  definite  as  to  the  nature  of  the 
prophetic  office.  God  said  to  Abimelech  concerning 
Abraham,  "He  is  a  prophet  and  he  shall  pray  for  thee,  and 
thou  shalt  live"  (Gen.  207).  When  Moses  complained 
about  his  slowness  of  speech,  God  said,  ''Aaron  shall  be 
thy  spokesman  unto  the  people ;  and  it  shall  come  to  pass 
that  he  shall  be  to  thee  a  mouth  and  thou  shalt  be  to  him 
as  God."  Before  he  spoke  to  Pharoah  'Jehovah  said  unto 
Moses,  "See,  I  have  made  thee  as  God  to  Pharoah ;  and 
Aaron  thy  brother  shall  be  thy  prophet." 

These  earliest  references  show  that  there  are  three 
parties  to  prophecy — God,  man  and  a  mediator  who  can 
speak  to  each  party  for  the  other.  Thus  we  find  Haggai 
the  prophet  describing  himself  as  "Jehovah's  messenger 


in  Jehovah's  message" — a  definition  of  a  prophet  than 
which  no  simpler  can  be  given.  The  subject  matter  of 
the  message  may  be  disregarded,  for  it  matters  not 
whether  the  message  concerns  the  physical  or  the  spiritual 
in  man  or  whether  it  regards  the  present  or  the  future. 
The  all-important  factors  are  that  the  prophet  be  in  actual 
communication  with  God,  and  that  he  has  been  given  a 
message  to  communicate. 

The  office  was  continued  in  the  New  Testament  dispen- 
sation. Paul  wrote  to  the  Ephesians  that  when  Christ 
ascended  on  high,  He  gave  gifts  unto  men;  "and  he  gave 
some  to  be  apostles ;  and  some,  prophets ;  and  some,  evan- 
gelists ;  and  some,  pastors  and  teachers ;  for  the  perfecting 
of  the  saints,  unto  the  work  of  ministering,  unto  the 
building  up  of  the  body  of  Christ."  Until  the  Body,  the 
Church,  is  complete,  these  gifts  will  continue. 

"Desire  earnestly  to  prophesy"  Paul  says  to  the  Corinth- 
ians. "He  that  prophesieth  speaketh  unto  men  to  edifica- 
tion, and  exhortation,  and  consolation."  The  teacher 
teaching  the  Word  of  God,  the  evangelist  telling  out  the 
glad  tidings  of  salvation,  the  pastor  shepherding  the  flock 
are  not  necessarily  prophets;  for  the  prophet,  whether 
as  a  teacher  he  edifies,  as  an  evangelist  he  exhorts,  or  as 
a  pastor  he  consoles  his  people,  has  come  out  of  the 
inner  chamber  of  God's  presence  w^ith  a  specific  message 
for  a  special  occasion.  Any  one  who  has  received  this 
gift  of  prophecy  may  properly  be  called  a  modern  prophet. 

It  was  this  mystical  element  in  Dr.  Simpson's  later 
ministry,  this  prophetic  office  to  which  he  was  called,  that 
made  him  more  than  a  great  pulpiteer,  evangelist,  and 
pastor — he  was  all  these  in  his  early  ministry.  Now  he 
was  lifted  into  the  circle  of  those  to  whom  are  committed 
the  oracles  of  God. 

196  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

The  biographer  of  Lucius  B.  Compton,  the  mountain 
evangehst,  says  that  many  have  gone  miles  to  hear  Comp- 
ton only  to  be  greatly  disappointed  ;  but  that  when  God  had 
a  message  to  give  to  men,  and  had  chosen  Lucius  B. 
Compton  to  declare  it,  no  one  was  ever  disappointed.  This 
is  his  way  of  saying  that  God  had  taken  an  ignorant, 
stammering,  mountain  boy  and  at  times  made  him  a 
prophet.  In  Mr.  Simpson's  case  God  chose  one  whom 
he  had  already  equipped  with  many  of  the  spiritual  gifts 
and  graces.  And  furthermore  his  spiritual  communion 
with  God  was  so  continuous  that  he  seldom  if  ever  ap- 
peared in  the  pulpit  without  a  message  which  hearers 
recognized  as  from  God. 

Strange  as  it  may  seem,  Balaam  the  soothsayer  was 
on  at  least  one  occasion  a  prophet  of  Jehovah.  But  no 
man  of  any  age  ever  exercises  the  prophetic  gift  as  the 
sphere  of  his  ministry  who  has  not  made  a  definite  and 
complete  surrender  to  God.  Dr.  Simpson  clearly  recog- 
nized this.  "I  have,"  he  says,  "often  seen  sermons  in 
print  that  were  excellent  in  conception,  in  division,  in 
language,  in  illustration,  and  in  logic,  but  lacking  in  spirit- 
ual aroma.  They  were  cold  and  intellectual.  When  I 
find  souls  surrendered  to  God,  I  feel  communion  with 
them  in  what  they  say.  The  fact  of  their  abandonment 
to  God  produces  spiritual  feeling,  and  no  person  can 
counterfeit  it.  Preaching  without  spiritual  aroma  is  like 
a  rose  without  fragrance.  We  can  only  get  the  perfume 
by  getting  more  of  Christ." 

Surrender  is  initial  but  is  not  in  itself  sufficient.  The 
prophet  must  walk  with  God.  One  of  the  Bible  synonyms 
was  "the  man  of  God."  Rev.  W.  T.  MacArthur  said  of 
Dr.  Simpson  in  his  memorial  message;  "If  God  was  his 
method  of  life,  the  same  was  true  of  his  service.     How 


often  have  I  heard  him  say,  *I  am  no  good  unless  I  can 
get  alone  with  God.'  His  practice  was  to  hush  his  spirit 
and  literally  cease  to  think.  Then  in  the  silence  of  his 
soul  he  listened  for  'the  still,  small  voice.'  It  was  thus  he 
received  his  messages.  Jotting  down  the  divisions  and 
the  headings  of  his  subjects,  he  was  prepared  either  to 
go  into  his  pulpit  and  extemporize  or  into  his  study  and 
write."  Another  intimate  ministerial  friend  says,  "His 
immediate  leaning  upon  the  Lord  for  his  message  was  a 
delightful  study  to  me." 

How  dependent  upon  the  Holy  Spirit  this  master  of 
the  art  of  sermon  building  became  and  continued  to  the 
end  of  his  life  is  shown  by  a  conversation  with  Rev.  R.  R. 
Brown  shortly  before  his  ministry  ended.  "One  day 
while  relating  some  experiences  in  connection  with  the 
Lord's  dealing  with  us  concerning  our  messages,  he  said 
that  he  was  passing  through  a  new  experience.  For  some 
time  the  Lord  had  been  withholding  the  message  he  was 
to  give,  oftentimes  until  he  entered  the  meeting  or  a  few 
hours  before  at  the  longest.  He  continued  his  study  and 
research  but  contrary  to  his  habits  the  Holy  Spirit  had 
been  teaching  him  new  lessons  of  waiting  and  trusting  for 
the  message." 

In  an  informal  address  to  the  class  in  homiletics  in  the 
Missionary  Institute,  when  he  had  been  fifty-one  years 
in  the  ministry,  he  told  them  that  he  had  spent  his  birth- 
day on  the  hill-top  seeking  some  new  enduement  for  ser- 
vice and  had  received  a  renewed  call  both  to  studious 
preparation  and  prayerful  reception  of  his  messages. 

In  his  conception  of  preaching,  such  studious  prep- 
aration and  prayerful  reception  of  the  message  were  not 
contradictory  terms.  Dean  Turnbull  has  written — "He 
was  a  scholar  of  profound  and  varied  learning,  who  could 

198  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

countenance  no  mental  shallowness  or  inadequate  stan- 
dards in  teaching.  He  believed  that  the  minister  of  God 
should  be  not  only  spiritually  equipped  but  also  as  well 
developed  intellectually  as  opportunity  would  permit.  His 
faith  in  God's  ability  to  quicken  the  mind  and  to  thor- 
oughly equip  those  who  would  not  be  considered  qualified 
according  to  ordinary  educational  standards  has  been 
amply  justified  by  the  achievements  of  many  seemingly 
unpromising  youths  who  were  trained  in  his  school." 

So  he  believed  in  the  mastery  of  the  art  of  public  dis- 
course. Indeed  his  addresses  have  been  analyzed  by 
teachers  of  the  psychology  of  oratory  as  models  of  the 
perfection  of  that  art.  We  quote  again  from  Dean  Turn- 
bull,  "Tower  of  expression  was  always  recognized  by  this 
master  teacher  as  being  vitally  important  for  ministers 
of  the  Gospel.  He  encouraged  the  acquirement  of  good 
English  and  unaffected  oratory.  His  delight  in  the  bud- 
ding eloquence  of  each  group  of  graduates  was  un- 
bounded. He  used  to  say  that  the  human  voice  was  the 
rarest  of  instruments  at  God's  disposal  when  once  its 
powers  were  fully  realized  and  yielded  to  the  Master." 

In  an  Editorial  in  Wonderful  Word  Rev.  W.  Leon 
Tucker  gave  this  apt  description  of  one  of  the  outstand- 
ing qualities  of  his  preaching:  "He  was  a  minstrel — a 
spiritual  minstrel ;  preaching  was  melodious  and  musical 
when  it  fell  from  his  lips.  His  voice  was  a  wonderful 
vehicle  for  his  message.  It  was  full,  resonant,  and  tri- 
umphant. The  very  sway  of  his  body  was  poetic  and 
passionate.  He  was  like  a  reed  shaken  by  the  wind  of  tlie 
Holy  Ghost.  While  multitudes  were  going  broader,  he 
was  always  going  deeper.  He  was  a  poet  preacher.  His 
poems  belong  to  the  first  rank  of  Christian  poetry.  Rhyme 
and  rhythm  were  part  of  his  refined  nature." 


It  was  the  prophetic  aspect  of  his  ministry  that  left  the 
deepest  impression.  Henry  W.  Frost,  Director  of  the 
China  Inland  Mission,  testifies  to  this.  "In  my  young 
manhood  I  attended  Dr.  Simpson's  services.  The  dev/  of 
youth  Vv^as  on  his  brow,  and  the  unction  of  the  Holy  One 
was  peculiarly  with  him.  It  was  no  wonder  that  great 
blessings  followed  his  ministry  and  that  I  was  a  sharer 
in  it.  I  can  never  be  other  than  grateful  for  the  lessons 
learned  at  that  time  in  his  ministry."  "The  man  and  his 
message,"  Rev.  W.  H.  Chandler  says,  "won  my  heart  to  a 
deeper  life  in  the  Lord.  For  years  I  had  been  interested 
in  the  experience  of  holiness;  but  when  I  learned  that  the 
indwelling  Christ  was  the  secret  of  holiness,  my  heart 
found  rest."  That  great  English  preacher,  F.  B.  Meyer, 
D.D.,  who  ministered  with  him  both  in  America  and  Eng- 
land, says:  "He  leaves  a  trail  of  light  which  will  linger 
long  as  an  inspiration  and  appeal."  Dr.  C.  I.  Scofield, 
who  was  even  nearer  to  him,  wrote  this  tribute :  "It  has 
been  my  privilege  to  know  with  some  measure  of  inti- 
macy the  greater  preachers  and  men  of  God  of  the  pres- 
ent time.  Among  these,  and  with  no  disparagement  to 
any,  I  count  Dr.  A.  B.  Simpson  the  foremost  in  power  to 
reach  the  depths  of  the  human  soul.  And  his  message 
was  so  bathed  in  love  that  it  was  always  redolent  of  the 
personality  of  Him  whom  having  not  seen  we  love."  Pas- 
tor F.  E.  Marsh  gives  this  testimony :  "It  was  my  happy 
privilege  to  be  Associate  Pastor  with  him  of  the  Gospel 
Tabernacle.  His  home-going  is  a  personal  loss.  The  im- 
press of  his  character  as  a  man  of  God  is  unique.  His 
ministry  was  unparalleled.  He  was  not  only  clear  in  tes- 
timony, but  there  was  a  tenderness  in  tone  and  sympathy 
in  expression  which  went  to  the  heart." 

Dr.  Simpson  was  a  prophet  to  the  prophets.     Even  in 


his  early  days  he  left  deep  impressions  upon  his  fellow- 
ministers,  as  is  shown  by  the  testimony  of  Dr.  W.  H. 
Hincks  of  Toronto,  given  some  years  ago  before  the 
Guelph  Methodist  Conference  where  he  stated  that  he 
was  very  thankful  for  religious  impressions  that  came  to 
him  while  sitting  under  the  ministry  of  Rev.  A.  B.  Simp- 
son of  Knox  Church,  Hamilton.  In  his  later  years  he  be- 
came pre-eminently  a  preacher's  preacher.  Referring  to 
Dr.  Simpson  in  one  of  his  addresses,  Dr.  T.  DeWitt  Tal- 
madge  said  that  he  had  recently  attended  a  meeting  in  a 
New  York  City  Church,  with  a  dingy  auditorium  and  a 
very  ordinary  looking  crowd  of  people,  with  nothing  aes- 
thetic or  emotional  in  the  service  ;  but  that  before  the  min- 
ister had  been  preaching  three  minutes  he  felt  that  his 
head  and  shoulders  had  been  lifted  into  heaven.  One  day 
when  Dwight  L.  Moody  was  in  New  York,  he  said  to  his 
friend.  Dr.  A.  T.  Pierson,  "Pierson,  I  have  just  been  down 
to  hear  A.  B.  Simpson  preach.  No  one  gets  at  my  heart 
like  that  man." 

Paul  Rader,  who  has  had  the  distinguished  honor  of 
being  the  successor  both  of  Moody  and  Simpson,  thus 
speaks  of  him:  "He  was  the  greatest  heart  preacher  I 
ever  listened  to.  He  preached  out  of  his  own  rich  deal- 
ings with  God.  The  Word  was  ever  new  and  fresh  in 
his  own  experience  and  messages.  I  thank  God  with  all 
my  heart  for  what  his  Hfe  and  messages  have  been  to  me 
and  to  multitudes  of  others." 

Dr.  Wilbert  W.  White  of  the  Bible  Teachers'  Training 
School,  New  York  City,  sent  this  message  to  the  Mem- 
orial Service:  "For  years  I  read  with  personal  profit 
the  messages  of  Dr.  Simpson.  Many  of  them  are  filed 
away  for  future  reference.  Only  the  other  day,  in  the 
study  of  Habakkuk,  I  came  across  a  refreshing  sugges- 


tion  of  his  concerning  the  outlook  of  faith,  the  patience 
of  faith,  and  the  joy  of  faith."  Dr.  Marquis,  of  the  same 
school,  said  at  the  Sunday  Memorial  service  in  the  Taber- 
nacle :  "Not  only  was  Dr.  Simpson  a  man  of  God,  he 
was  a  great  preacher,  the  greatest  whose  voice  has  been 
heard  in  New  York  City  in  twenty-five  years.  And  more, 
he  was  an  artist  in  the  way  of  treating  the  truth.  His 
voice,  manner,  gestures,  his  marshaling  of  facts — they 
were  the  method  of  one  who  was  an  expert  in  the  art  of 
expounding  God's  Word  to  the  people.  What  made  his 
natural  gifts  and  his  spiritual  gifts  as  an  interpreter  of 
the  truth  effective,  were,  of  course,  his  deeply  spiritual  life, 
his  profound  conviction  of  the  truth,  his  passion  for 
souls,  and  his  great  faith  in  God." 

William  Dayton  Roberts,  D.D.,  of  Temple  Presbyterian 
Church,  Philadelphia,  said  after  one  of  his  visits,  "We 
shall  not  hear  another  such  message  until  he  returns  to 
this  city." 

It  was  said  of  the  Great  Teacher  that  "the  common 
people  heard  him  gladly."  In  this  Dr.  Simpson  was  like 
his  Master.  His  closest  friend  and  associate,  Dr.  Henry 
Wilson,  himself  a  philosopher,  said:  "There  are  other 
great  preachers  who  are  clear  without  being  so  deep.  But 
Dr.  Simpson  is  both  deep  and  clear,  leading  the  profound- 
est  thinkers  into  the  deepest  things  of  God,  and  at  the 
same  time  so  clear  and  simple  as  to  be  easily  understood 
by  even  the  uneducated." 

This  quality  impressed  others.  The  Atlanta  Constitu- 
tion made  this  comment:  "His  style  of  preaching  is 
childlike  in  its  simplicity,  and  he  avoids  anything  like  re- 
dundancy. He  is  fond  of  simple  words  and  short  sen- 
tences, and  yet  he  makes  them  serve  as  vehicles  for  pro- 
found thought  and  sublime  theology.    A  large  number  of 

202  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

children  were  scattered  about  in  the  congregation  yester- 
day morning,  and  the  eloquent  divine  seemed  to  have 
no  difficulty  in  holding  their  individual  attention." 

Rev.  Edward  B.  Shaw,  D.  D.,  who  was  one  of  the  boys 
in  Dr.  Simpson's  congregation  in  Hamilton,  tells  this 
story :  "Waiting  for  a  train  in  a  little  village  in  Massachu- 
setts, I  got  into  conversation  with  a  flagman.  There  was 
no  mistaking  that  he  was  Irish.  'Did  you  ever  hear  a 
man  named  Simpson?'  said  he.  *Yes,'  I  said,  'I  have 
known  him  many  years.'  'And  how  do  you  like  him?'  he 
asked.  'Very  much,'  said  I,  'he  is  a  great  preacher.' 
'Sure,'  he  said,  'I  could  sit  on  the  point  of  a  picket  fence 
twenty-four  hours  and  listen  to  that  man.'  " 

His  ideal  of  preaching  is  shown  in  a  story  he  told  of  the 
celebrated  philosopher  David  Hume:  "Some  one  took 
David  Hume  to  hear  one  of  the  most  popular  preachers 
of  the  time,  and  when  asked  afterwards  whether  he  liked 
it,  replied,  'That  man  preached  as  if  he  did  not  believe 
a  word  of  it.'  He  went  to  hear  John  Brown,  a  devoted 
Scotch  preacher,  on  the  same  afternoon  and  came  away 
saying,  'That  man  preaches  as  though  he  got  the  sentence 
straight  from  heaven,  as  if  Jesus  was  standing  at  his  el- 
bow, and  as  though  he  said,  'Lord,  what  will  I  say  next?' 
That  was  the  testimony  of  an  infidel  to  a  man  that 
preached  as  the  oracle  of  God,  the  voice  of  God,  the  mes- 
senger of  divine  revelation." 

Dr.  Lowe  Fletcher,  who  has  known  Dr.  Simpson  since 
his  association  with  him  in  Louisville  forty-four  years 
ago,  closes  a  short  life  sketch  with  a  paragraph  which 
expresses  beautifully  the  thought  which  is  in  many  a 

"The  story  of  Dr.  Simpson's  life  work  cannot  be  told 
in  simple  words,  and  not  until  the  men  an.d.  women  savec^ 


through  his  ministry  come  one  by  one  from  the  dark 
Soudan,  the  thickets  of  Tibet,  the  shores  of  the  Congo 
and  Euphrates,  and  from  the  remotest  places  of  earth,  and 
sit  down  with  him  in  the  Kingdom  of  God,  will  there  be 
an  opportunity  for  even  an  approximate  estimate  of  the 
far  reaches  of  his  earthly  ministry." 



THERE  have  been  many  great  leaders,  but  leader- 
friends  have  been  few.  The  crowning  glory  of 
A.  B.  Simpson's  leadership  was  that  he  was  a  friend  of 
man.  He  loved  the  man  next  to  him,  he  loved  men,  and 
he  loved  mankind. 

After  what  has  been  written  it  seems  to  be  needless 
to  speak  of  his  leadership.  His  life  story  is  more  elo- 
quent than  words.  Yet  there  are  features  that  may  be 
outlined  to  make  the  picture  more  complete. 

A.  B.  Simpson  was  an  apostle.  No,  he  was  not  a 
thirteenth  apostle,  nor  a  fiftieth.  There  were  twelve 
apostles,  chosen  by  Jesus  Christ  as  witnesses  to  his  life, 
death,  and  resurrection,  and  there  will  not  be  another. 
Neither  do  we  mean  that  he  was  in  an  apostolic  suc- 
cession, commissioned  by  men,  who,  with  their  prede- 
cessors back  to  the  Twelve,  had  been  themselves  succes- 
sively commissioned.  Such  men  do  not  claim  to  be 
apostles.  But  there  were  apostles  before  the  Twelve 
and  after  them.  Barnabas  is  called  an  apostle  in  the 
Lystra  story.  And  "There  was  a  man,  sent  from  God, 
whose  name  was  John."  Our  verb  "sent"  does  not  do 
justice  to  the  word  John  the  Apostle  used  of  John  the 
Baptist.  It  is  the  verbal  form  of  apostle  and  means  sent 
on  a  commission.  An  apostle  is  a  commissioner  from  the 
court  of  Heaven.    Such  a  man  was  A.  B.  Simpson. 

Only  a  man  divinely  commissioned  could  have  done 
what  Dr.  Simpson  accomplished.    False  apostles  have  for 


a  time  wrought  mighty  works,  but  they  did  it  by  the 
skilful  use  of  human  agencies,  if  not  by  preternatural 
power.  This  man  did  not  employ  the  means  men  use  to 
achieve  leadership.  He  neither  exalted  himself  nor  would 
he  allow  others  to  exalt  him.  He  did  not  exploit  the 
public.  The  tricks  of  the  advertiser  he  despised.  He 
did  not  lay  stress  on  organization ;  in  fact,  he  deter- 
minedly opposed  the  introduction  of  much  machinery.  In 
his  dedicatory  address  of  the  Madison  Avenue  Taber- 
nacle he  said :  'T  am  afraid  of  human  greatness ;  I  am 
afraid  of  the  triumphs  of  human  praise;  I  am  glad  to 
have  the  work  of  God  beginning  in  lowliness."  But  he 
believed  that  God  had  sent  him  on  a  definite  mission  and 
for  a  specific  ministry  and  lived  and  loved  and  labored 
in  the  unconquerable  courage  and  invincible  strength  of 
a  true  apostle. 

A.  B.  Simpson  was  a  pathfinder.  Like  Abram  "He 
went  out  not  knowing  whither  he  went."  Many  so-called 
leaders  follow  the  beaten  path.  The  really  great  leaders 
blaze  a  new  trail.  Columbus  crossed  the  uncharted  sea. 
LaSalle  and  Mackenzie  opened  a  continent.  Lincoln  led 
in  the  liberation  of  a  race.  Here  we  have  a  man  whose 
life  work  seemed  to  be  to  push  on  aione  where  his  fel- 
lows had  seen  nothing  to  explore,  and  where  the  multi- 
tude would  not  follow.  He  dared  to  ask  his  fashionable 
Louisville  congregation  to  follow  him  from  a  comfortable 
church  home  to  a  theatre  that  they  might  together  reach 
the  masses.  Single-handed  he  launched  the  first  pictorial 
missionary  magazine.  Alone  he  stepped  out  in  the  great 
metropolis  to  find  a  way  to  the  hardened  hearts  of  multi- 
tudes. With  a  Gideon's  band  he  attempted  to  take  un- 
evangelized  continents  for  Christ.  He  revived  methods 
untried  or  forgotten  since  the  days  of  the  apostles.    He 

2o6  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

found  a  way  through  the  clash  of  creeds  to  Christ  Him- 
self, restoring  mysticism  to  Pauline  purity,  saving  sancti- 
fication  from  the  plane  of  self-perfection,  placing  healing 
on  terms  of  abiding  in  and  intimate  fellowship  with 
Christ,  and  giving  a  new  note  of  strenuous  service  to  the 
song  of  welcome  to  the  Coming  King.  These  were  "The 
Old  Paths"  but  overgrown  with  the  theological  weeds  of 

As  a  leader  he  was  unique.  One  of  his  fellow-workers 
has  written:  "Neither  he  nor  his  work  can  be  explained 
upon  scientific  principles.  The  organization  itself  is  the 
simplest  and,  I  may  say,  the  most  fragile  possible.  It 
holds  together  by  a  mysterious,  invisible  bond.  Its  mem- 
bers are  neither  received  into  nor  cast  out  from  its  fellow- 
ship. They  simply  are  or  they  are  not.  The  methods  of 
finance  are  the  same."  Dr.  C.  I.  Scofield  adds  this  word, 
"With  this  seasoned  and  mature  gift  was  united  a  power 
of  detail  and  of  organization  that  made  him  unique  among 
the  great  Christian  leaders  of  the  day."  His  successor, 
Rev.  Paul  Rader,  says  "No  man  ever  held  an  organiza- 
tion with  as  light  a  hand  as  did  Dr.  Simpson." 

He  had  his  own  way  of  enlisting  and  training  workers. 
He  never  asked  a  man  to  join  his  organization  nor  held 
out  inducements  to  attract  them.  He  knew  that  the  path 
that  he  was  marking  out  was  too  rugged  for  any  but  such 
as  had  caught  his  own  vision.  But  when  he  met  a  man 
after  his  own  heart,  great  was  his  delight.  At  the  first 
convention  in  Binghamton,  N.  Y.,  he  met  Rev.  W.  T. 
MacArthur.  At  midnight  Mrs.  Simpson  called  from  the 
window  beneath  which  the  two  preachers  were  walking 
up  and  down.  Mr.  Simpson  replied,  "Yes,  dear,  I'll  be 
up  soon,  but  I've  caught  a  rare  bird  this  time."  Few 
indeed  were  the  conventions  which  he  held,  especially  in 


the  early  days,  where  new  workers  were  not  enlisted.  The 
city  of  Toronto  alone  gave  him  Dr.  R.  H.  Glover,  now 
the  Foreign  Secretary,  Rev.  Robert  Jaffray,  whose  per- 
sistent faith  planted  a  mission  in  Indo-China,  and  many 
other  missionaries  and  home  workers.  When  a  young 
student  in  that  city  said  to  him  after  one  of  his  powerful 
appeals,  "Dr.  Simpson,  if  you  have  a  hard  place,  please 
send  me  to  it,"  he  secured  another  recruit  by  simply  re- 
plying, "My  dear  boy,  we  have  lots  of  hard  places."  No 
one  ever  knew  better  than  he  how  to  awaken  the  heroism 
in  young  hearts. 

When  they  were  enlisted,  this  leader  put  recruits  to  the 
test.  It  has  been  the  practice  of  the  Society  to  turn  mis- 
sionary candidates  loose  in  some  untried  home  field  or 
before  some  half-closed  door.  If  they  stood  the  test  and 
proved  that  they  were  not  only  soul  winners  but  good 
soldiers  of  Jesus  Christ  who  could  endure  hardness.  Dr. 
Simpson  and  the  Board  believed  that  they  would  succeed 
on  the  foreign  field.  Many  of  these  young  men  and 
women  have  looked  into  a  penniless  purse  and  an  empty 
cupboard,  and  sung  the  nursery  rhyme  about  "Old 
Mother  Hubbard"  to  the  tune  of  "Praise  God  from  Whom 
All  Blessings  Flow." 

A  business  man,  who  has  been  one  of  his  great  ad- 
mirers, said  recently,  "Dr.  Simpson  had  many  followers 
but  few  disciples."  The  missionary  to  whom  this  was 
said  replied  that  there  were  three  hundred  men  and 
women  on  the  foreign  field  who  were  his  disciples  indeed 
and  that  his  spiritual  following  in  mission  lands  were 
numbered  by  thousands.  This  is  borne  out  by  the  tes- 
timony of  Dr.  George  F.  Pentecost,  who,  just  before  he 
finished  his  course,  wrote  "I  have  met  some  of  his  mis- 
sionaries in  various  parts  of  the  pagan  world  and  they 

2o8  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

all  seem  animated  by  his  spirit."  We  need  not  go  to  the 
distant  shores  to  find  his  disciples.  Dr.  George  H.  San- 
dison,  of  The  Christian  Herald,  who  knew  him  and  his 
work  intimately,  said  "He  preached  the  full  Gospel  in 
simple  yet  eflfective  language  and  gathered  about  him  as 
his  aids  men  who  were  like-minded,  and  who  followed  his 
methods  with  success. 

The  test  of  leadership  is  time.  Long  ago,  Gamaliel 
said,  "Let  these  men  alone."  He  knew  that  time  would 
tell  the  story.  A  prominent  minister  of  New  York  sug- 
gested at  one  of  the  October  conventions  that,  as  there 
was  no  one  like  Dr.  Simpson  to  continue  the  leadership 
of  the  movement,  a  large  endowment  fund  should  be 
raised  to  insure  the  perpetuation  of  the  work.  Dr.  Simp- 
son said  nothing  and  did  nothing.  He  believed  with 
Gamaliel  that  if  the  work  was  of  God,  nothing  could 
overthrow  it.  How  he  rejoiced  during  the  last  months 
of  his  life  when  he  had  no  active  part  in  leadership  at 
the  reports  of  largely  increased  missionary  offerings  and 
marvelous  progress  on  the  foreign  field.  The  fact  that 
the  year  that  has  passed  since  he  was  laid  at  rest  has  been 
the  most  prosperous  in  the  history  of  the  work  gives  its 
own  witness. 

Some  have  concluded  that  because  a  great  work  had 
developed  around  the  personality  of  Dr.  Simpson,  he 
must  have  been  autocratic.  Those  who  really  knew  him 
smile  at  the  suggestion.  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk,  who  has  been 
longer  and  more  closely  associated  with  him  than  any 
other  man  now  living,  says,  "He  trusted  those  in  charge 
of  the  different  institutions  and  left  them  free  to  exercise 
their  own  gifts" ;  and  to  this  statement  every  man  who  has 
been  intimate  with  him  will  subscribe.  When  some  one 
asked  a  leading  member  of  the  Board  if  it  was  true  that 


Dr.  Simpson  dominated  everything,  he  repHed  somewhat 
indignantly,  "Nothing  is  ever  passed  in  the  Board  with- 
out full  discussion  and  an  open  vote.  But,"  he  added, 
and  herein  he  showed  his  own  quality  of  greatness,  "if  he 
sat  in  my  place,  and  I  were  president,  he  would  still  be 
the  controlling  factor," 

This  suggests  that  his  leadership  was  most  manifest 
when  he  was  surrounded,  as  he  so  often  was  in  public, 
by  the  great  men  of  his  day.  He  never  suffered  by  com- 
parison. At  one  of  the  Old  Orchard  Conventions,  the 
platform  was  particularly  strong.  When  it  was  over, 
some  one  remarked  that  though  the  messages  had  been 
in  unusual  power,  Dr.  Simpson's  series  of  addresses  was 
the  great  feature  of  the  convention. 

His  associates  loved  Dr.  Simpson.  He  did  not  pre- 
serve much  of  his  correspondence,  but  a  Christmas  letter 
from  Dr.  Henry  Wilson,  written  in  1907  very  shortly 
before  his  death,  found  among  Dr.  Simpson's  papers, 
shows  the  tender  attachment  between  these  two  great  men. 

"My  dear  Mr,  Simpson: 

Only  a  brief,  true-hearted  word  of  love,  sweetening 
and  deepening  the  years  and  the  coming  and  going  of 
these  holy  seasons — love  born  from  above  for  yourself 
personally,  to  whom  I  owe  more  than  I  can  ever  expioss; 
love  for  Mrs.  Simpson  in  these  days  of  heavy  burden- 
bearing,  and  for  all  the  family ;  and  praise  for  the  privi- 
lege of  having  with  you  a  part  in  the  work  dearer  to  us 
than  life.    More  than  ever 

Yours  in  Christ, 

Henry  Wilson."'' 

Few  men  were  more  intimately  associated  with  Dr, 
Simpson  than  Dr.  F,  W.  Farr,  who  says:  "An  apostolic 

210  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

man  has  passed  from  earth  to  heaven.  His  mighty  faith,  his 
flaming  zeal,  his  tireless  devotion,  his  abounding  labors, 
place  him  among  the  great  leaders  of  the  Christian  Church. 
His  enduring  monument  is  seen  in  the  multitudes  of 
transformed  and  consecrated  lives  the  world  around  and 
in  the  splendid  heroism  of  devoted  missionaries  in  every 
land.  Measured  by  the  standards  of  eternity,  his  was  a 
great  and  noble  life." 

Paul  Rader  was  only  voicing  his  own  experience  when 
he  said  of  Dr.  Simpson's  disciples,  "They  did  not  follow 
him.  He  was  abandoned  to  God,  and  they  saw  that  he 
walked  with  his  Lord.  They,  too,  in  this  abandonment, 
found  the  joy  of  this  faith  life  in  the  all  faithful  One." 

Dr.  S.  D.  Gordon,  author  of  "Quiet  Talks,"  speaks  of 
hyn  in  his  own  distinctive  manner:  "Gentle,  cultured, 
scholarly.  Spirit-filled,  he  left  the  smoother  rhythm  of 
the  regular  pastorate  for  the  very  difficult  special  min- 
istry in  answer  to  the  Master's  call,  and  that  ministry 
was  blessed  immeasurably  to  tens  of  thousands  of  com- 
munions of  the  United  States  and  Canada  and  reached 
out  in  the  far  corners  of  the  earth.  The  memory  of  it 
and  of  him  will  be  fragrant  down  here  until  he  returns 
with  his  Lord  in  the  air  for  the  blessed  new  order  of 
things  which  will  likely  be  very  soon." 

Mr.  Wm.  E.  Blackstone,  in  expressing  his  deep  regret 
that  failing  strength  and  great  pressure  in  his  own  work 
of  world-evangelization,  prevented  him  from  writing  a 
chapter  of  this  biography,  said  "I  cannot  express  to  you 
what  a  joy  it  would  be  to  me  if  I  could  write  a  suitable 
chapter  for  this  book.  I  loved  Dr.  Simpson,  I  loved  his 
Hfe  and  ministry,  and  the  work  which  he  has  so  greatly 
promoted  both  in  spiritual  life  and  in  advanced  foreign 
mission  work." 


At  the  Memorial  Service  Mr.  Charles  G.  Trumbull, 
Editor  of  The  Sunday  School  Times,  revealed  one  of  the 
secrets  of  the  regard  felt  for  Dr.  Simpson.  "I  had  a 
very  real  need  in  my  own  life,  and  talked  with  Dr.  Simp- 
son at  Old  Orchard  about  it.  He  listened  with  all  love, 
and  sympathy,  and  understanding,  and  explained  to  me 
the  meaning  of  the  committal  of  things  to  God.  Then 
we  knelt  and  he  prayed.  And  I  can  never  forget,  even 
in  eternity,  his  prayer  for  me  that  day  as  he  talked  with 
God,  talked  to  God  for  me.  A  man  at  that  time  with 
heavy  responsibilities  for  multitudes  of  persons  in  every 
part  of  this  earth,  with  the  names  of  many,  many  mis- 
sionaries in  his  mind  and  on  his  heart  for  his  prayer 
stewardship,  loved  ones  in  the  home  circle,  loved  ones 
here  in  the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  and,  with  uncounted  obli- 
gations in  every  direction,  was  just  for  that  moment  talk- 
ing to  God  as  though  he  had  no  other  responsibility  except 
this  one  person  who  had  come  to  him  for  help.  And  as 
he  prayed,  his  whole  being  was  simply  vibrating  with  the 
spiritual  consciousness  of  his  fellowship  with  God  at 
that  moment  for  the  need  of  a  brother.  He  was  laying 
hold  of  God  because  I  had  laid  hold  of  him  for  that  very 
need.  And,  oh,  can  you  understand  the  blessing  that 
God  poured  out  at  that  time  into  my  life  just  because 
dear  Dr.  Simpson  gave  himself  wholly,  unreservedly  to 
that  intercession  for  one  person  at  the  throne  of  God?" 

There  were  other  secrets.  Evangelist  Charles  Inglis, 
who  has  preached  on  three  continents,  says,  "He  was  the 
most  gracious  man  I  ever  knew."  A  State  Superintend- 
ent of  the  Alliance,  Rev.  I.  Patterson,  writes,  "One  of 
the  greatest  secrets  of  his  successful  life  and  ministry 
was  his  humility."  Mrs.  A.  A.  Kirk,  for  many  years 
Superintendent  of  Women  in  the  Missionary  Institute, 

212  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

found  that  *'He  was  always  most  courteous  and  humble 
in  times  of  ministry,  quickly  acknowledging  the  gifts  of 
others."  A  home  worker.  Rev.  H.  E.  Cottrell,  recalled 
with  what  diffidence  he  "went  to  the  hotel  to  meet  Dr. 
Simpson,  but  he  put  me  at  ease  at  once.  He  reminded 
me  of  the  Psalmist's  words,  *Thy  gentleness  hath  made 
me  great'." 

Rev,  E.  M.  Burgess,  a  cultured  and  gifted  leader  of 
Alliance  work  among  the  colored  people,  sent  this  special 
message:  "During  the  October  Convention  of  1915, 
while  there  at  his  invitation  to  sing,  I  heard  him  publicly 
express  his  deep  love  for  our  people,  especially  in  the 
homeland,  and  of  the  South  in  particular,  and  urged  the 
people  to  pray  that  the  time  would  speedily  come  when 
the  Lord  would  thrust  forth  Rev.  E.  M.  Collett,  Dr.  C.  S. 
Morris,  and  myself  as  an  evangelistic  party  to  tour  the 
country,  spreading  the  full  Gospel  message  among  our 
people.  This  utterance  received  a  very  hearty  and  fervent 
assent.  On  behalf  of  our  people,  and  at  the  request  of 
some  of  the  leaders  of  our  Branches,  please  record  the 
fact  of  Dr.  Simpson's  great  and  sincere  love  for  our  people 
and  the  inestimable  loss  his  home-going  has  meant  to  us." 
If  the  great  men  who  knew  him  loved  Dr.  Simpson,  the 
average  man  and  the  poor  and  unlettered  held  him  in  equal 
esteem.  Not  only  in  his  own  congregation,  but  wherever 
he  went  in  conventions,  the  very  attitude  of  the  people 
manifested  their  love  and  devotion.  In  the  next  chapter 
Dr.  Turnbull  will  tell  of  the  regard  with  which  he  was 
held  by  his  students.  His  missionaries  held  him  in  ten- 
•  derest  affection.  His  God-speed  and  his  warm  hand-clasp 
and  word  of  welcome  cheered  the  recruit  and  heartened 
the  returning  veteran.  When  on  some  far-away  field  a 
weary  missionary  received  a  personal  letter  written  in 


his  own  careful  handwriting,  tears  would  fall  that  so 
great  and  busy  a  man  at  so  great  a  distance  had  time  and 
thought  for  the  lonely  messenger  of  the  Cross,  The  chil- 
dren loved  him.  Dr.  Shaw  has  told  us  of  the  effect  upon 
him  when,  as  a  boy,  the  hand  of  the  young  Hamilton  pas- 
tor was  laid  upon  his  head.  But  what  would  many  of  the 
younger  generation  tell  of  the  effect  of  Dr.  Simpson's 
patriarchal  hand,  his  fatherly  smile,  and  his  companionable 
word.  Truly,  he  was  a  Friend  of  Man.  One  might 
almost  think  that  he  had  been  in  the  mind  of  our  Ameri- 
can poet  when  he  wrote : 

"Let  me  live  in  a  house  by  the  side  of  the  road, 
And  be  a  friend  to  man." 

Here  is  Dr.  Simpson's  own  explanation  of  his  influence. 
"If  I  have  ever  done  anyone  any  good,  it  was  not  I,  but 
Christ  in  me." 



By  Walter  M.  Turnbull,  D.D. 
Dean  of  The  Missionary  Training  Institute,  Nyack,  N.  Y. 

THE  Spirit-guided  tongue  and  pen  of  Dr.  Simpson 
have  been  freely  recognized  by  the  spiritually  minded 
in  all  sections  of  the  Christian  Church  as  the  potent  in- 
struments of  a  modern  prophet  who  was  divinely  com- 
missioned to  impress  upon  a  generation  grown  callous 
and  materialistic  the  reality  of  the  supernatural  working 
of  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ  in  the  spirits,  minds  and  bodies 
of  present-day  believers.  Yet  he  himself  considered  that 
his  highest  and  most  fruitful  service  consisted  in  impart- 
ing divine  truth  and  life  through  systematic  training  of 
the  young  and  open-hearted.  The  schools  he  founded 
were  not  by-products  of  his  ministry,  but  were  conceived 
as  an  integral  part  of  his  commission.  Simultaneously 
with  the  dawning  of  his  great  vision  of  truth,  and  the 
beginning  of  his  larger  service  beyond  the  borders  of  the 
accustomed,  came  the  impulse  to  duplicate  himself  by 
giving  special  attention  to  the  instruction  of  the  plastic 
minds  among  his  followers.  Thus  he  strove  to  revivify 
not  only  the  message  but  also  the  method  of  Scripture. 
His  prophetic  calling  was  never  better  exhibited  than  in 
the  founding  of  his  modern  "school  of  the  prophets,"  nor 
were  his  God-given  wisdom  and  foresight  anywhere  more 
clearly  shown  than  in  the  principles  and  aims  which  he 
adopted  in  connection  with  his  training  work. 


Mr.  Simpson  took  up  the  responsibilities  of  young  man- 
hood as  a  public-school  teacher  in  a  Canadian  country 
district.  He  was  always  a  serious  and  thorough  student 
and  had  the  advantage  of  an  excellent  education.  Through 
constant  application  he  gained  a  depth  and  range  of 
knowledge  that  placed  him  among  the  world's  great 
thinkers.  In  understanding  of  the  Scriptures  he  was 
peerless,  and  his  early  ministry  gave  him  experience  as 
to  methods  successful  and  otherwise  in  the  conduct  of 
religious  affairs.  It  is  not  surprising,  therefore,  to  find, 
when  the  heaven-born  passion  for  the  lost  led  him  forth 
from  his  settled  pastorate  to  evangelize  the  unchurched 
masses  of  New  York  City  and  to  reach  out  toward  the 
dark  corners  of  the  heathen  world,  that  he  should  have 
early  turned  toward  training  others  as  a  means  of  accel- 
erating the  accomplishment  of  his  task.  His  first  converts 
caught  fire  from  him  and  were  eager  to  go  as  missionaries 
or  to  win  souls  at  home.  They  flocked  round  him  for 
advice  and  help.  Thus  in  the  year  1882  the  first  training 
class,  composed  of  new  and  zealous  followers,  met  on  the 
stage  of  a  theater  on  23rd  Street,  New  York,  using  rough 
benches  and  hastily  improvised  tables  as  their  equipment. 
The  history  of  the  years  that  have  followed  may  be  con- 
veniently divided  into  three  periods. 

During  the  first  eight  years,  from  1882  to  1890,  the 
school  was  moved  from  place  to  place  like  the  tent  in  the 
wilderness,  but  the  pillar  of  fire  always  attended.  On 
Monday,  October  ist,  1883,  it  was  formally  organized, 
and  a  new  rented  home  on  Eighth  Avenue  was  opened 
as  the  Missionary  Training  College  for  Home  and  For- 
eign missionaries  and  evangelists.  Between  forty  and 
fifty  students  were  in  attendance.  The  course  comprised 
one  year  of  study,  including  English,  Christian  Evidences^ 

216  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Bible  Study  and  Interpretation,  Church  History  and 
Christian  Life  and  Work,  As  the  first  prospectus  an- 
nounced, the  work  was  most  thorough  and  soHd.  The 
plan  was  to  present  a  complete  outline  of  Bible  study  in 
the  year,  beside  other  kindred  subjects  of  which  the  Word 
of  God  is  the  center.  The  students  who  gathered  had  the 
common  qualification  that  they  had  given  up  all  for 
Christ,  and  His  work  meant  all  to  them. 

Among  the  notable  men  who  lectured  or  gave  addresses 
in  the  first  session  were  Dr.  Arthur  T.  Pierson,  Dr. 
George  F.  Pentecost,  Dr.  Charles  F.  Deems,  Dr.  A.  J. 
Gordon,  Dr.  Thomas  C.  Easton  and  Rev.  Kenneth  Mac- 
kenzie. The  last  named  is  still  connected  with  the  school 
as  a  highly  esteemed  special  lecturer. 

The  following  is  the  first  statement  of  character  and 
purpose:  "This  work  originated  in  the  felt  need  for  a 
simple,  spiritual,  and  scriptural  method  of  training  for 
Christian  work  the  large  class  of  persons  who  desire  to 
become  prepared  for  thorough  and  efficient  service  for 
the  Master,  without  a  long,  elaborate  college  course.  It 
aims,  through  the  divine  blessing,  to  lead  its  students  to 
simple  and  deeply  spiritual  experiences  of  Christ,  and  to 
recognize  the  indwelling  presence  and  power  of  the  Holy 
Ghost  as  the  supreme  and  all-essential  qualification  and 
enduement  for  all  Christian  ministry ;  and  to  give  to  them 
a  thorough  instruction  in  the  Word  of  God,  and  a  prac- 
tical and  experimental  training  in  the  various  forms  of 
evangelistic  and  Christian  work;  besides  such  other  theo- 
logical and  literary  studies  as  are  included  in  a  liberal 
course  of  education," 

Dr.  Simpson  was  the  pioneer  in  the  field  of  Bible  Train- 
ing School  work  in  America,  although  in  Great  Britain 
the  East  London  Institute  founded  by  Dr.  H,  Gratton 


Guinness  is  some  years  older.  Dr.  Simpson  blazed  the 
way  for  similar  institutions  whose  number  is  constantly 
increasing.  His  firm  grasp  upon  the  essentials  of  Chris- 
tian training  is  exhibited  in  the  fact  that  the  course  which 
he  planned  nearly  forty  years  ago  has  needed  little  revi- 
sion to  meet  the  requirements  of  successive  generations 
of  students,  and  has  become  the  basis  for  the  curricula  of 
similar  schools  everywhere.  Its  value  has  been  proven 
by  experience.    It  has  stood  the  acid  test  of  years. 

The  first  Commencement  was  held  in  May,  1884,  and 
shortly  afterward  five  of  the  graduates  sailed  for  Africa 
as  the  vanguard  of  hundreds  of  Alliance  missionaries 
who  have  gone  forth  into  the  virgin  missionary  fields  of 
the  world.  Thus  the  strong  current  of  missionary  fer- 
vor, which  has  ever  dominated  Dr.  Simpson's  work  in  all 
its  phases,  found  its  initial  expression.  The  third  tem- 
porary home  of  the  school  was  opened  a  year  later  on 
West  20th  Street,  and  a  fourth  in  1886  on  49th  Street, 
but  in  May,  1887,  through  the  apostolic  gift  of  Mr.  and 
Mrs.  O.  S.  Schultz,  who  had  first  given  themselves  and 
now  gave  their  possessions  to  the  Lord  for  this  work,  a 
new  and  commodious  building  was  purchased  on  West 
55th  Street,  where  the  school  continued  until  the  Gospel 
Tabernacle  was  erected. 

In  1885,  the  standard  course  was  lengthened  to  cover 
three  years,  and  the  syllabus  included  three  departments. 
In  the  Literary  Department  were  the  following:  English 
Language  and  Literature,  Rhetoric  and  Public  Speaking, 
Logic,  Mental  and  Moral  Philosophy,  Natural  Science, 
Ancient  and  Modern  History,  Geography,  with  special 
reference  to  Bible  Lands  and  Mission  Fields.  In  the 
Theological  Department  were  included :  Christian  Evi- 
dences, Bible  Exposition,  New  Testament  Greek,  Sys- 

2i8  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

tematic  Theology,  Church  History,  History  and  Biography 
of  Christian  Work,  Pastoral  Theology.  The  Practical 
Department  comprised :  Christian  Experience,  with  spe- 
cial reference  to  the  Enduement  of  Power,  Exercises  in 
Sermon  Outlines  and  Bible  Readings,  Evangelistic  Work 
and  the  Conducting  of  Religious  Services,  Personal  Work 
for  Souls,  Foreign  Missions,  Sunday  School  Work,  Vocal 

The  second  period,  from  1890  to  1897,  covers  the  years 
during  which  the  Training  College  was  located  at  690 
Eighth  Avenue,  where  a  substantial  building  was  erected 
in  connection  with  the  Gospel  Tabernacle.  From  this 
time  the  work  developed  rapidly.  Many  who  are  now 
laboring  for  Christ  in  the  homeland  and  mission  fields 
received  their  preparation  in  the  old  Training  School  at 
"690."  In  1894  the  name  was  changed  to  the  New  York 
Training  Institute.  The  high  price  of  land  in  New  York, 
and  the  distractions  to  student  life  in  the  city,  led  to  the 
choice  of  a  rural  site  when  a  larger  building  became  neces- 

For  the  past  twenty-three  years,  from  1897  to  the  pres- 
ent time,  the  Missionary  Institute  has  been  located  at 
South  Nyack,  New  York.  The  cornerstone  of  the  main 
Institute  building  was  laid  on  April  17th,  and  the  open- 
ing exercises  were  held  October  24th,  1897. 

In  1905  the  Nyack  Seminary,  which  afterwards  was 
called  Wilson  Memorial  Academy  in  honor  of  Dr.  Henry 
Wilson,  was  founded  to  provide  Christian  education  of 
High  School  standing  for  boys  and  girls.  It  was  discon- 
tinued in  1917.  In  1913  the  large  Administration  Build- 
ing was  erected.  So  rapidly  has  the  Missionary  Institute 
grown  that  there  are  now  five  commodious  buildings  in 
use  for  school  and  dormitory  purposes. 


Dr.  Simpson's  educational  ideals  were  expressed  not 
only  in  the  Nyack  work,  but  also  in  regional  schools 
which  were  modeled  after  the  original  pattern.  Toccoa 
Falls  Institute  in  Georgia  and  the  Alliance  Training 
Home  in  St.  Paul  are  rapidly  growing  institutions  with 
the  same  aims  and  methods.  The  Pacific  Bible  School  was 
also  similar  in  character.  Boydton  Institute  in  Virginia, 
for  colored  students,  is  now  operating  upon  the  same 
principles.  In  South  China,  Central  China,  West  China, 
Indo-China,  Gujarat  in  India,  Berar  in  India,  the  Congo, 
and  Palestine  are  offspring  Bible  Schools  of  far-reaching 
influence,  manned  by  those  who  caught  the  vision  of  di- 
vine possibility  in  such  enterprises  from  their  great 
leader.  These  are  some  of  the  material  monuments  of 
Dr.  Simpson's  persevering  labors. 

The  character  of  the  educational  ministry  of  Dr.  Simp- 
son may  be  judged  by  the  splendid  company  of  spiritual 
teachers  who  were  attracted  to  share  this  service.  For 
several  years  Dr.  F.  W.  Farr  served  as  Vice-President, 
and  gave  all  his  time  and  large  abilities  to  the  administra- 
tion of  the  School  and  to  teaching.  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk  was 
Secretary  throughout  most  of  the  School's  history  in  New 
York  and  Nyack.  Principal  W.  C.  Stevens  for  many 
years  devoted  his  thoroughly  trained  powers  to  the  suc- 
cessful development  of  the  school.  The  saintly  and  gifted 
Dr.  George  P.  Pardington  poured  out  the  richness  of  his 
consecrated  scholarship  for  a  score  of  years,  and  crowned 
his  ministry  by  a  wise  year  of  leadership  during  which 
the  school  came  to  the  full  measure  of  its  usefulness. 
Among  the  worthy  list  of  teachers  and  special  lecturers, 
besides  those  previously  mentioned  and  those  of  more 
recent  date,  are  found  the  names  of  Dr.  James  M.  Gray, 
Dr.  Henry  Wilson,  Dr.  J.  H.  Oerter,  Rev.  George  N. 

220  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Meade,  Rev.  Robert  Roden,  Rev.  W.  H.  Walker,  Rev. 
Stephen  Merritt,  Rev.  D.  Y.  Schultz,  Dr.  John  Robertson, 
Rev.  Henry  Varley,  Dr.  F.  L.  Chapell,  Dr.  C.  I.  Sco- 
field.  Dr.  George  B.  Peck,  Mr.  S.  H.  Hadley,  Rev.  A.  L. 
Mershon,  Rev.  J.  D.  WilHams,  Mrs.  C.  DeP.  Field  and 
Miss  May  Agnew. 

The  words  of  Dr,  Simpson  in  his  last  convention  ad- 
dress at  Nyack  express  his  convictions  as  an  educator : 

"Just  as  God  called  Elijah  to  stand  for  a  living  God, 
so  God  is  calling  His  witnesses  today  to  stand  for  a  living 
God,  a  living  Christ,  a  supernatural  faith.  We  stand  for 
a  supernatural  Book,  for  a  supernatural  life,  and  for  a 
supernatural  work  dependent  entirely  upon  the  Master 
and  the  power  of  the  Spirit. 

"This  makes  necessary  our  Training  School.  It  is  not 
enough  that  we  should  grasp  these  mighty  truths,  but  we 
must  commit  them  to  others  who  will  be  able  to  teach 
others  also,  and  provide  as  the  Master  did  through  His 
own  disciples,  for  the  perpetuation  of  these  principles  and 
their  propagation  throughout  the  whole  world." 

"How  we  thank  God  for  the  product  already  of  our 
Nyack  School!  Between  three  and  four  thousand  conse- 
crated lives  have  gone  forth  from  this  place,  over  one 
thousand  of  whom  have  already  reached  the  foreign  field 
as  missionaries.  A  large  number  are  actively  engaged  in 
the  work  of  other  churches  and  other  societies  where 
they  are  spreading  abroad  these  holy  principles  until  our 
people  today  are  being  used  of  God  directly  and  indirectly, 
in  under-currents  that  have  not  been  traced  in  any  organ- 
ized work,  to  influence  men  and  women  in  all  branches 
of  the  Church  of  Christ.  Perhaps  this  has  been  our  rich- 
est and  most  productive  service." 

Although  Dr.  Simpson  was  a  strikingly  handsome  and 


attractive  figure,  was  possessed  of  a  resonant,  captivating 
voice,  and  was  gifted  with  social  graces  that  gave  him 
advantage  in  any  company,  it  was  always  to  be  noticed 
that  the  affection  of  his  students  seemed  to  be  drawn  to 
his  Master  even  more  than  to  himself.  It  is  difficult  to 
recall  his  ways  and  methods  in  the  class  room  because 
of  the  overpowering  sense  of  the  Lord's  presence  that 
abides  in  the  memory  as  the  aroma  of  his  teaching  minis- 
try. Yet  there  are  many  hundreds  scattered  throughout 
tTie  world,  wherever  need  is  greatest,  who  will  treasure 
as  their  most  valued  recollection  the  picture  of  the  simple 
chapel  at  New  York  or  Nyack  filled  with  a  company  of 
eager  young  students.  The  teacher's  chair  is  empty,  for 
all  have  come  early  at  Dr.  Simpson's  hour.  A  happy 
chorus  is  started  with  exuberance  of  spirit,  and  the  zest 
of  it  makes  young  blood  tingle.  Another  chorus,  perhaps 
a  trifle  boisterous,  but  suddenly  a  hush  falls,  for  down  the 
aisle  comes  the  dignified  form  of  Dr.  Simpson.  The 
massive  head  upon  the  broad  shoulders  is  bowed  as  one 
who  enters  a  holy  place.  The  chorus  dies  away ;  he 
quietly  takes  his  chair,  opens  his  Bible,  and  smiles  in  de- 
lightful comradeship  upon  his  class.  "Will  you  not  sing 
another  chorus?"  he  asks.  "Song  is  a  little  of  heaven 
loaned  to  earth."  He  is  one  of  us,  young  as  the  youngest. 
One  feels  that  he  knows  every  thought  and  desire  of  the 
most  wayward  heart,  yet  his  face  and  voice  betray  the 
fact  that  he  has  been  caught  up  into  the  third  Heaven  and 
has  seen  things  unlawful  to  utter.  He  comes  to  our  level, 
but  brings  the  glory  of  the  Presence  with  him.  We  can 
only  sing,  "My  Jesus,  I  love  Thee,  I  know  Thou  art 
mine,"  or  some  similar  hymn  of  adoration.  Then  fol- 
lows the  prayer  as  he  talks  about  us  to  Christ  Jesus  at 
his  side.     We  breathe  softly,  and  listen  for  each  word 

222  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

as  it  is  uttered.  It  would  not  surprise  us  much  to  hear 
an  audible  answer  because  the  Lord  seems  so  near.  In 
such  moments  our  petty  sorrows  and  the  little  selfish 
plans  wither  and  are  gone.  Deep  in  the  soul  is  born  a 
desire  to  please  in  all  things,  not  Dr.  Simpson,  but  that 
Living  One  whose  voice  whispers  to  us  and  whose  hand 
we  feel  upon  our  hearts.  As  the  Scriptures  are  ex- 
pounded, the  same  Presence  lingers  and  many  a  splendid 
point  of  truth  is  not  only  intellectually  grasped,  but  is 
personally  applied  as  some  convicted  one  takes  a  practical 
step  of  obedience  and  whispers,  "Lord,  I  will." 

The  simplicity  and  orderliness  of  Dr.  Simpson's  class 
room  teaching  prevented  one  from  fully  realizing  its  pro- 
fundity. Only  in  retrospect,  could  one  ever  attempt  to  ap- 
praise his  incomparable  gifts.  Without  doubt,  he  was  one 
of  the  master  teachers  of  his  generation.  His  breadth 
and  comprehensiveness  of  view  were  phenomenal.  He 
combined  deep  spiritual  intuition  with  such  forceful  yet 
simple  presentation  that  the  greatest  truths  were  caught 
by  even  the  unlettered.  Men  of  wide  learning  and  deep 
Christian  experience  could  sit  in  his  classes  by  the  side  of 
the  intellectual  babe,  sharing  equally  in  the  richness  of 
truth  that  fell  with  such  graciousness  from  his  lips.  So 
kindly  and  affectionate  was  his  manner,  that  the  most 
timid  found  more  confidence,  and  yet  so  princely  was  his 
bearing  that  no  idle  questions  ever  wasted  the  precious 
moments  of  his  hour.  Wholesomeness  of  spirit  radiated 
from  his  presence  and  proved  a  powerful  preventative  of 
morbidness  or  fanaticism.  His  books  give  some  inkling 
of  his  power,  but  they  are,  of  necessity,  limited  in  exhibit- 
ing that  marvelous  realism  that  made  his  teaching  period  a 
visit  to  the  Mount  of  Transfiguration.  He  gripped  every 
mind  that  was  open.     In  any  department  of  the  educa- 


tional  world,  he  would  have  been  an  outstanding  success. 
His  virile  personality,  quick  sympathy,  and  crystal  clear- 
ness would  have  won  him  fame ;  but  when  to  all  his  natural 
talents  were  added  the  Spirit's  gift  of  prophesying  and 
teaching,  it  is  not  to  be  wondered  that  he  holds  the  su- 
preme place  in  the  minds  of  all  who  were  ever  favored  to 
sit  at  his  feet.  The  secret  of  his  strength  is  found  in  a 
few  lines  from  his  own  pen: 

"How  best  can  I  my  Father  glorify? 
Naught  can  be  added  to  His  majesty; 
But  I  can  let  His  glory  through  me  shine, 
And  shed  on  all  around  His  light  divine." 



By  Robert  H.  Glover,  M.D, 

Foreign  Secretary  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary 


THE  careers  of  Old  Testament  patriarchs  and 
prophets  and  of  New  Testament  apostles  had  their 
genesis  in  a  heavenly  vision.  The  Lord  appeared  unto 
Abraham  and  Moses  and  spake  unto  them.  Isaiah  and 
Ezekiel  both  beheld  the  glory  of  the  Lord  and  heard  His 
voice.  To  Paul  and  John,  under  circumstances  strikingly 
different,  was  given  the  same  exalted  heavenly  vision. 

In  all  these  instances,  and  many  others  which  might 
be  cited,  the  essential  features  were  the  same,  despite  wide 
divergence  in  external  setting.  There  was  accorded  to 
these  men  a  divine  audience,  from  which  they  went  forth 
with  a  new  subjective  knowledge  of  God,  a  transformed 
and  illuminated  spirit,  and  a  sense  of  a  great  and  com- 
pelling commission  to  service. 

But  God's  line  of  prophets  and  apostles  has  not  run 
out,  and  of  this  fact  no  better  evidence  and  example  can 
be  furnished  in  this  generation  than  the  life  and  work  of 
the  Rev.  Albert  B.  Simpson.  To  him,  at  a  peculiar  crisis 
in  his  life,  was  granted  as  to  these  others  the  heavenly 
vision.  It  was  a  twofold  vision,  first,  of  the  exalted 
Christ  and  the  believer's  glorious  inheritance  in  Him  for 
spirit,  soul  and  body ;  and  then,  of  a  lost  world  dying  for 
the  lack  of  the  knowledge  of  that  Christ. 


That  vision  crystallized  in  the  forming  of  the  Chris- 
tian Alliance  and  the  International  Missionary  Alliance, 
and  these  two  bodies  were  in  turn  united  in  the  present 
Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance.  It  is  with  the  foreign 
aspect  of  this  movement  that  the  present  chapter  has  to 

It  was  no  light  undertaking  or  easy  task  which  faced 
Dr.  Simpson  and  the  little  group  of  kindred  spirits  that 
gathered  around  him  at  that  early  date.  It  meant  the 
blazing  of  a  new  missionary  trail  round  the  world.  It 
was  not  that  there  was  any  disposition  on  Dr.  Simpson's 
part  to  ignore  or  underrate  the  missionary  work  already 
done  or  in  progress  through  other  agencies.  All  this  he 
gratefully  recognized  both  then  and  at  all  times.  And 
yet  he  felt  a  clear  and  imperative  call  to  project  a  new 
missionary  movement  on  certain  distinctive  Hnes. 

Its  program  was  pre  millennial,  looking  not  toward 
world  conversion  as  its  goal,  but  rather  toward  the  reach- 
ing of  the  whole  world  with  the  witness  of  the  Gospel 
and  the  calling  out  from  among  every  nation,  tribe,  and 
tongue  of  "a  people  for  his  name,"  a  bride  for  the  return- 
ing Heavenly  Bridegroom.  It  chose  and  maintained  a 
pioneer  policy,  with  the  aim  of  evangelizing  the  most  dis- 
tant and  destitute,  and  in  particular  the  yet  wholly  unoc- 
cupied fields.  Its  preeminent  method  was  evangelism, 
•  direct,  aggressive,  and  widespread,  with  the  object  of  giv- 
ing to  all  men  everywhere  a  fair  opportunity  to  hear  of 
Jesus  and  be  saved.  Its  standards  were  spiritual,  laying 
insistent  stress  upon  absolute  consecration  and  the  filling 
and  enduement  with  the  Holy  Spirit  as  the^  supreme  re- 
quisite for  its  missionary  candidates,  along  with  consis- 
tent physical  strength  and  intellectual  gift  and  training. 
It  recognized  and  accepted  as  its  missionaries  laymen  as 

226  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

well  as  clergymen,  and  women  as  well  as  men,  and  with- 
out distinction  as  to  denominational  connection.  It 
adopted  the  faitJi  principle  of  support,  not  guaranteeing 
fixed  or  large  salaries  but  standing  with  its  missionaries 
in  trust  for  the  full  supply  from  the  Lord  of  the  financial 
needs  of  workers  and  work  through  the  free  will  offerings 
of  His  people.  And,  finally,  it  promoted  a  spirit  of  econ- 
omy in  living  and  of  sacrifice  in  giving  among  its  entire 

While  in  missionary  principle  and  practice  the  Alliance 
patterned  very  largely  after  the  already  existing  and  hon- 
ored China  Inland  Mission,  there  was  from  the  begin- 
ning the  one  important  difference  that  the  Alliance 
sphere  of  operations  was  international ;  and  this  has  con- 
tinued to  the  present  to  distinguish  this  society  from  most, 
if  not  all,  other  faith  missions  which  have  since  begun 
work,  inasmuch  as  the  efforts  of  these  other  agencies 
have  usually  been  confined  to  one  particular  mission  field. 

It  was  indeed  a  bold  and  daring  enterprise  to  project 
pioneer  missionary  parties  almost  simultaneously  into 
half  a  dozen  distant  lands  thirty  years  ago,  and  within 
five  years  to  commence  work  in  fifteen  separate  fields  and 
send  out  nearly  one  hundred  and  fifty  missionaries.  Any- 
thing less  than  a  clear  heavenly  vision  and  a  faith  firmly 
rooted  in  God  on  the  part  of  the  leader  would  have  caused 
him  to  quail  before  such  a  venture.  But,  like  Gideon  of 
old.  Dr.  Simpson  had  seen  the  Lord  face  to  face  and 
heard  Him  say,  "Go  in  this  thy  might;  have  not  I  sent 
thee?"  And  so  this  man  of  God  set  his  face  like  a  flint 
and  went  forward  unfalteringly  in  naked  faith. 

Nor  did  it  take  anything  less  than  God-given  conviction 
and  courage  on  the  part  of  those  who  composed  the  van- 
guard into  these  "regions  beyond."    Seldom  has  God  en- 


trusted  to  servants  of  His  a  harder  task.  The  earliest  to 
go  forth  were  five  young  men  who  sailed  for  the  Congo, 
Africa,  in  November,  1884,  three  years  before  the  Al- 
liance was  regularly  organized.  Within  a  few  months  of 
their  arrival  on  the  field  their  leader,  John  Condit,  died  of 
fever.  Indeed,  the  opening  of  both  Congo  and  Soudan 
fields  proved  a  painfully  costly  undertaking.  Those  deadly 
climates  exacted  such  an  awful  toll  of  lives  that  for  years 
the  missionary  graves  in  both  fields  outnumbered  the  liv- 
ing missionaries. 

The  pioneer  Alliance  missionary  to  China,  Rev.  Wil- 
liam Cassidy,  was  never  permitted  to  reach  that  land,  but 
died  of  smallpox  contracted  on  the  Pacific  voyage  and 
was  buried  in  Japan.     Those  who   followed  after  him 
faced  a  China  that  was  then  seething  with  bitter  anti-for- 
eign feeling;  and  especially  in  the  totally  unevangelized 
provinces  of  Kuangsi  and  Hunan,  where  they  were  among 
the  early  pioneer  forces,  were  they  called  upon  to  endure 
no  little  hardship  and  danger.     Others  pressed  on  west- 
ward to  the  remote  borders  of  Tibet  and  knocked  at  the 
doors  of  that  hostile  and  devil-possessed  land,  to  enter 
which  had  been  one  of  the  main  objectives  in  mind  when 
the  Alliance  was  organized.    A  little  later  a  band  of  forty- 
five  workers  from  Sweden  penetrated  the  far  north,  and 
amidst  many  vicissitudes  planted  stations  beyond  China's 
Great  Wall  on  the  borders  of  Mongolia.    The  Boxer  up- 
rising  of    1900    brought    this   mission  to    a    tragic   end. 
Twenty-one  of  its  foreign  workers  and  fourteen  of  their 
precious  children  were  brutally  murdered,  and  the  rest 
made  a  hazardous  escape  across  the  desert  into  Siberia  and 
after   harrowing   experiences    reached    their    European 
homes.  ■  ■   | :' 

Still  another  pioneer  party  of  about  forty  set  out  for 

228  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Central  India,  under  the  wise  and  godly  leadership  of 
Rev.  Mark  B.  and  Jennie  Fuller,  and  opened  work  among 
the  neglected  but  proud  and  resisting  Mahratta  people. 
Smaller  companies  were  sent  in  close  succession  to  other 

The  Annual  Report  presented  in  October,  1893,  only- 
six  years  after  the  society  was  organized  and  five  years 
from  the  beginning  of  its  actual  operations,  showed  work 
begun  in  twelve  fields,  with  forty  stations  manned  by  one 
hundred  and  eighty  missionaries.  Up  to  that  time  twenty- 
three  missionary  comrades  had  fallen  at  the  battle  front. 
The  fields  already  occupied  were  Congo,  Soudan,  India, 
China  (Central,  South  and  North  China  and  Pekin  mis- 
sions), Japan,  Bulgaria,  Palestine,  Alaska,  Hayti  and 
Santo  Domingo,  besides  a  Jewish  field  in  New  York  City. 
The  first  steps  had  also  been  taken  toward  establishing 
missions  in  Malaysia  and  the  South  Sea  Islands,  but  these 
plans  did  not  mature.  Circumstances  led  to  the  early 
withdrawal  from  Bulgaria  and  Alaska,  and  later  from 
Hayti  and  Santo  Domingo.  The  North  China  and  Pekin 
missions  were  broken  up  by  the  Boxers  in  1900  and  never 
reopened.  On  the  other  hand,  work  was  begun  succes- 
sively in  West  China,  Tibet,  Brazil  and  Venezuela  (1895), 
Chile  and  Jamaica  (1897),  Argentina  and  Ecuador 
(1898),  Shanghai,  Porto  Rico,  and  Philippine  Islands 
(1900),  and  French  Indo-China  (1911).  All  of  these 
fields,  with  the  exception  of  Brazil  and  Venezuela,  are 
still  occupied,  thus  making  sixteen  fields  at  the  present 

The  story  of  this  worldwide  missionary  enterprise,  so 
unique  in  its  conception,  so  varied  in  its  features,  and  so 
rich  in  its  detail  of  wonderful  experiences,  falls  naturally 
into  three  periods. 


First  of  all  came  the  Pioneer  Period  of  pressing  into 
virgin  territory  and  establishing  new  missionary  foot- 
holds, in  the  face  of  obstacles  sufficient  to  challenge  the 
faith  and  courage  of  the  most  doughty  warrior.  There 
were  closed  doors  to  force  open,  and  physical  obstacles 
to  cope  with  in  the  shape  of  deadly  climates,  unsanitary 
conditions,  and  every  sort  of  contagious  and  loathsome 
disease.  The  most  difficult  languages  of  the  world  had 
to  be  grappled  with.  Formidable  foes  such  as  bitter  anti- 
foreign  sentiment  in  China  and  Tibet,  pride  and  cunning 
in  Japan,  caste  and  fanticism  in  India,  gross  superstition 
in  Africa,  official  duplicity  in  Palestine,  the  subtle  plot- 
ting of  priestcraft  in  South  America — all  these  and  a  host 
of  others — had  to  be  met  and  overcome.  The  opening  of 
some  fields  and  stations  was  in  the  teeth  of  the  most  stren- 
uous resistance,  involving  riots  and  uprisings,  humiliat- 
ing insults,  physical  injuries,  threatenings  and  dangers  of 
many  kinds.  And  having  obtained  a  first  foothold  under 
conditions  of  this  sort,  the  pioneer  missionaries  had  to 
negotiate  for  property,  renovate  and  make  habitable  old 
buildings  or  have  new  ones  erected,  and  plod  through  all 
kinds  of  tedious  and  trying  preliminaries  before  a  begin- 
ning could  be  made  in  actual  Gospel  work. 

Then  followed  the  Sowing  Period  of  steady,  aggressive 
evangelistic  effort  along  every  line.  In  churches  and  street 
chapels,  in  tea  houses  and  temple  squares,  in  crowded 
bazaars  and  district  fairs,  in  great  metropolis  and  remote 
hamlet,  in  crowded  thoroughfare  and  on  the  lonely  wind- 
ing trail,  everywhere  and  by  every  means  the  Word  of 
Life  has  been  sounded  forth.  Patiently,  perseveringly, 
persistently,  in  season  and  out  of  season,  by  word  of 
mouth  and  by  the  printed  page,  the  ever  enlarging  band  of 
Alliance  missionaries  and  their  devoted  native  colleagues 

230  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

have  sowed  these  many  lands  thickly  with  Gospel  seed. 
Oftentimes  it  has  been  literally  a  "going  forth  with  weep- 
ing, bearing  the  precious  seed,"  amidst  many  trials  and 
discouragements,  and  with  meager  visible  results  or  none 
at  all  to  cheer  the  worker. 

But  as  with  the  earliest  apostles  so  with  these  later 
ones — "they  went  forth  and  preached  everj^where,  the 
Lord  working  with  them,  and  confirming  the  word  with 
signs  following."  Wonderfully  has  God  fulfilled  in  this 
simple  apostolic  work  His  promise  of  sheaves  as  the  re- 
ward of  faithful  seed-sowing,  and  so  in  turn  the  Reap- 
ing Period  has  come.  At  first  it  was  only  by  ones  and 
twos,  here  and  there,  that  the  converts  came.  But  year 
by  year  the  results  have  steadily  increased,  and  now  the 
fuller  harvest  has  set  in,  and  the  Alliance  is  on  almost 
every  one  of  its  fields  reaping  the  richest  fruitage  of  all 
its  history. 

Let  a  few  examples  sufiice  to  illustrate  this  develop- 
ment. There  in  dark  Congo,  early  studded  so  thickly  with 
missionary-  graves,  more  than  four  thousand  heathen  have 
been  converted  and  baptized,  and  we  find  today  ten 
churches,  several  of  them  seating  a  thousand  or  more, 
built  with  native  Christian  money  and  voluntary  labor, 
and  all  regularly  filled  to  capacity  with  devout  worship- 
pers. In  Kuangsi,  South  China,  twenty-five  years  ago 
wrapped  in  unrelieved  heathen  aarkness,  the  Alliance  has 
today  fifteen  churches,  several  of  them  wholly  self-sup- 
porting, with  a  membership  of  nearly  two  thousand.  Hu- 
nan, once  the  most  gospel-hating  province  of  all  China, 
is  now  among  the  most  fruitful  fields,  and  last  year  in  a 
single  day  one  Alliance  missionary  baptized  one  hundred 
and  seventy-two  persons  on  one  station.    In  India  three 


thousand  five  hundred  souls  have  confessed  Christ  in  bap- 
tism, and  in  the  Latin  America  fields  three  thousand 

Space  forbids  the  mention  of  each  field  in  order  or  the 
recounting  of  a  mass  of  detailed  facts  and  features  of 
intense  interest.  We  can  only  attempt  to  sum  up  in 
briefest  compass  a  few  of  the  outstanding  results  to  date 
of  the  missionary  work  which  had  its  beginning  only  one 
short  generation  ago  in  the  response  of  God's  faithful  ser- 
vant, Albert  B.  Simpson,  to  the  divine  call.  The  Gospel 
has  been  carried  into  a  number  of  the  darkest  and  most 
neglected  lands  in  the  world.  The  Alliance  was  among 
the  pioneers  of  Kuangsi  and  Hunan,  the  last  two  prov- 
inces of  China  to  be  entered.  It  has  penetrated  Tibet  and 
occupies  three  points  within  its  borders.  It  was  the 
pioneer  of  French  Indo-China  and  is  still  the  only  evangel- 
ical mission  at  work  among  eighteen  million  benighted  An- 
namese.  It  has  stations  among  the  aboriginal  tribesmen 
of  South  China  and  the  pagan  Subanos  of  the  Southern 
Philippines,  It  built  the  first  Protestant  chapels  in  Vene- 
zuela and  Ecuador,  and  is  laboring  among  the  Mapuche 
Indians  of  Chile  and  the  Quichua  tribe  on  the  Ecuadorian 
Andes.  It  has  the  only  American  church  in  old  Jerusalem, 
and  is  located  at  Beersheba  on  the  southern  border  of 
Palestine  among  the  wild  Bedouin  Arabs.  It  has  recently 
planted  a  station  on  the  banks  of  a  large  tributary  of  the 
Niger  River  in  the  vast  and  unevangelized  land  of  French 
Guinea.  And  now  it  s  planning  advances  at  an  early 
date  into  French  Congo,  and  across  Jordan  into  the  new 
Syro- Arabian  state. 

In  most  of  its  sixteen  fields  the  Alliance  has  a  large 
territory  all  its  own,  and  a  careful  estimate  reveals  the 
solemn  fact  that  within  the  areas  at  present  committed  to 

232  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

this  society,  and  in  which  it  is  as  yet  the  only  evangeUzing 
agency,  there  are  at  least  forty  milHon  benighted  souls 
whose  only  apparent  hope  of  ever  hearing  the  Gospel  is 
through  Alliance  efforts.  What  a  sacred  trust  and  grave 
responsibihty  such  a  fact  bespeaks!  Thank  God,  as  a  re- 
sult of  the  work  already  done,  a  vast  number — at  least  one 
or  two  millions — have  come  under  the  sound  of  the  blessed 
Gospel  for  the  first  time. 

This  in  itself  is  an  achievement  for  which  we  may  well 
give  praise  to  God.  But  there  is  more,  much  more  than 
this.  The  preaching  of  the  Cross  has  thus  early  borne 
precious  and  abundant  fruit,  despite  the  peculiar  difficul- 
ties attending  pioneer  work  in  virgin  soil.  The  records 
show  that  wp  to  the  end  of  1919  no  fewer  than  17,356  had 
been  baptized  on  clear  evidence  of  a  saving  faith  in  Christ, 
while  many  others  were  counted  as  sincere  enquirers. 
There  were  125  organized  churches  with  nearly  12,000 
members  in  full  communion.  There  have  been  gratifying 
evidences  of  marked  growth  in  grace  among  the  Chris- 
tians, many  of  whom  have  gone  on  unto  mature  spiritual 
manhood.  Instances  abound  of  wonderful  transforma- 
tions of  heart  and  home,  of  miracles  of  healing  through 
faith  in  the  Lord,  and  of  His  mighty  providence  and 
power  at  work  along  many  lines.  Last  year  8,704  schol- 
ars were  enrolled  in  Sunday  Schools,  7,714  in  primary 
Christian  day  schools,  and  nearly  a  thousand  choice  young 
men  and  women  were  in  training  in  twenty-six  more  ad- 
vanced schools,  including  nine  Bible  Institutes,  in  prep- 
aration for  active  Christian  service. 

No  single  fact  bears  stronger  testimony  to  the  spiritual 
results  of  this  mission  work  than  that  from  its  infant 
native  churches  700  men  and  women  have  heard  the  Mas- 
ter's call  to  service  and  today  comprise — as  pastors,  evan- 


gelists,  Bible-women  and  teachers — a  devoted  and  effi- 
cient auxiliary  force  to  the  320  foreign  missionaries  who 
are  holding  500  stations  and  outstations  in  this  far-flung 
battle  line  and  are  vigorously  pressing  forward  on  every 

But  while  the  facts  thus  stated  and  the  figures  quoted 
bear  their  own  testimony,  it  is  to  be  realized  that  any 
recital  of  facts  and  figures  must  in  the  end  fall  far  short 
of  telling  the  full  story  of  the  outflow  of  divine  grace 
and  power  through  a  thousand  streams  of  consecrated 
activity  and  influence  which  were  fed  from  that  life  that 
itself  drank  so  deeply  from  the  fountain  of  divine  full- 
ness. One  thinks  of  those  inspired  words  uttered  by  the 
dying  patriarch  concerning  his  favorite  son  as  peculiarly 
applicable  to  the  life  we  are  here  considering:  "Joseph  is 
a  fruitful  bough,  even  a  fruitful  bough  by  a  well;  whose 
branches  run  over  the  zvall."  Dr.  Simpson's  ministry  and 
influence  far  outreached  the  limits  of  the  particular  or- 
ganization which  he  founded.  It  was  the  writer's  rare 
privilege  to  accompany  him  on  deputational  tours  both  in 
America  and  in  Great  Britain,  as  well  as  later  to  follow 
in  his  steps  in  a  round-the-world  visitation  of  missionary 
lands.  Never  will  he  forget  the  host  of  grateful  testi- 
monies he  has  heard  borne  by  godly  men  and  women  in 
many  lands — among  them  not  a  few  missionaries  of  note 
and  persons  of  prominence  in  other  spheres — to  the  deep 
and  abiding  influence  upon  their  life  and  service  which 
Dr.  Simpson  exerted,  whether  by  his  personal  preaching 
and  touch  or  by  his  books  and  writings.  And  who  will 
define  the  measure  in  which  his  clear  and  inspired  vision 
and  his  impassioned  appeals  by  voice  and  pen  imparted 
a  vital  impulse  to  the  whole  modern  missionary  enter- 

234  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

The  Lord  has  seen  fit  to  promote  His  honored  servant 
to  the  higher  realm  of  service  above.  Today  he  stands 
in  the  presence  of  the  King  and  beholds  His  face.  While 
we  mourn  his  loss  we  rejoice  in  the  heritage  he  has  left 
the  entire  Church  of  Christ  by  his  ministry  of  spiritual 
power  and  worldwide  outreach.  Verily,  "he  being  dead 
yet  speaketh"  the  world  around,  through  thousands  of 
lives  inspired  and  enriched  by  his  touch,  while  multi- 
tudes in  every  land,  who  owe  their  salvation  to  the  mis- 
sionary agencies  which  he  was  the  means  of  bringing 
into  being  or  of  stimulating,  "Rise  up  and  call  him 

One  word  more  in  closing:  Dr.  Simpson's  impelling 
vision  and  passion  were  to  take  the  whole  Gospel  with  all 
speed  to  the  whole  world.  His  missionary  motto  was 
"the  regions  beyond,"  his  missionary  goal  "the  uttermost 
part  of  the  earth."  He  projected  the  witness  of  the 
Gospel  into  some  of  the  remotest  corners  of  the  globe, 
and  today  Alliance  missionaries  are  to  be  found  on  not  a 
few  of  the  most  distant  outposts  of  the  great  missionary 
enterprise.  They  are  on  "the  roof  of  the  world"  in  lone 
Tibet,  in  the  thickly  peopled  deltas  of  destitute  Indo- 
China,  on  the  crest  of  the  lofty  Andes  looking  down  into 
the  black  heart  of  South  America's  unpenetrated  savage 
Indian  region,  on  the  banks  of  the  mighty  Niger  in  the 
limitless  stretches  of  the  dark  Soudan,  and  now  at  the 
fords  of  the  Jordan,  ready  to  press  on  into  the  blighted 
land  of  Arabia. 

But  there  are  other  great  areas  wuth  vast  populations 
— in  Central  Asia,  in  the  interior  of  Africa  and  South 
America,  in  the  Island  World — which  still  lie  outside  the 
present  activities  and  even  the  projected  plans  of  all 
existing  missionary  societies.     These  lands  were  in  Dr. 


Simpson's  vision  and  heavily  upon  his  heart,  WJw  is  to 
carry  the  Gospel  to  them,  and  zvhenf  The  divine  com- 
mand is  clear,  categorical  and  unalterable :  "to  all  nations/' 
"to  every  creature,"  "unto  the  uttermost  part  of  the 
earth."  The  divine  will  is  that  all  may  have  a  chance  to 
hear  and  be  saved.  The  divine  program  waits  for  its 
completion  until  "out  of  every  kindred,  and  tongue,  and 
people,  and  nation"  at  least  some  representatives  shall  be 
gathered  for  the  bride  made  ready  for  the  Bridegroom's 
coming.  That  the  record  of  this  departed  missionary 
apostle  may  stir  the  heart  of  the  true  Church  of  Christ 
to  move  forward  in  fuller  obedience,  and  with  a  new 
daring  of  faith  and  a  sacrificial  spirit,  on  definite  and  con- 
certed lines  for  the  speedy  completion  of  her  great  un- 
finished task  of  world  evangelization — this  is  the  fervent 
prayer  of  one  who  will  ever  feel  the  great  debt  he  owes 
to  Dr.  Simpson,  his  revered  teacher,  leader  and  friend, 
for  the  moulding  and  inspiring  of  his  own  life  and  ser- 




By  J.  Gregory  Mantle,  D.D, 
Bible  Teacher  and  Author. 

IN  his  letter  to  the  Colossians  the  Apostle  Paul  makes 
this  statement :  "I  have  been  appointed  to  serve  the 
Church  in  the  position  of  responsibility  entrusted  to  me 
by  God  for  your  benefit,  so  that  I  may  fully  deliver  God's 
message — the  truth  which  has  been  kept  secret  from  all 
ages  and  generations,  but  has  now  been  revealed  to  His 
people."  (1:25,26 — Weymouth.)  The  expression  "that 
I  may  fully  deliver  God's  message,"  means  that  to  the 
Apostle  was  given  the  revelation  that  makes  full  or  com- 
plete the  Message  or  Word  of  God.  The  highest  and  full- 
est revelation  that  God  has  been  pleased  to  give  to  men 
was  communicated  through  the  Apostle  Paul. 

Who  can  deny  that  Dr.  A.  B.  Simpson  was  privileged 
to  be  in  the  grand  succession  of  those  w^ho,  following  the 
apostles,  received  and  proclaimed  the  full-orbed  Gospel, 
the  complete  Word  of  God  ?  It  was  inevitable,  since  the 
hand  of  God  had  brought  him  through  the  fire  and  water 
of  affliction  into  a  large  and  wealthy  place,  that  he  should 
exercise  a  large  and  wealthy  ministry. 

The  first  characteristic  of  his  message  was  Spacious- 
ness. The  whole  thought  of  the  Gospel  is  to  call  men  out 
of  Httleness,  out  of  pettiness,  out  of  the  insignificant 
things,  into  the  breadth  and  sweep  of  great  thoughts  and 


forces  and  to  the  wide  horizon  of  limitless  possibilities  in 
the  realms  of  divine  grace.  But  it  is  not  all  who  answer 
the  call.  Many  insist  on  living  narrow  lives  in  a  large 
place.  Not  so  Dr.  Simpson.  He  had  discovered  the  great 
secret,  as  he  himself  expresses  it,  that  "Christ  has  not 
saved  us  from  future  peril,  and  left  us  to  fight  the  battle 
of  life  as  best  we  can ;  but  He  who  has  justified  us  waits 
to  sanctify  us,  to  enter  into  our  spirit,  and  substitute  His 
strength,  His  holiness,  His  joy,  His  love,  His  Faith,  His 
power,  for  all  our  worthlessness,  helplessness  and  noth- 
ingness, and  make  it  an  actual  and  living  fact,  *I  live,  yet 
not  I,  but  Christ  liveth  in  me'." 

The  waters  that  in  the  early  days  of  his  ministry  were 
"waters  to  the  ankles,"  were  now  "waters  to  swim  in,  a 
river  that  could  not  be  passed  over."  What  had  seemed 
to  him  at  one  time  to  be  merely  a  lake,  he  now  discovered 
to  be  an  arm  of  the  ocean,  and  that  he  was  on  the  shores 
of  "a  vast  unfathomable  sea  where  all  our  thoughts  are 

Dr.  J.  H,  Jowett  says  that  the  expression,  "the  unsearch- 
able riches  of  Christ,"  suggests  the  figure  of  a  man,  stand- 
ing, with  uplifted  hands,  in  a  posture  of  great  amazement, 
before  continuous  revelations  of  immeasurable  and  un- 
speakable glory.  In  whatever  way  he  turns,  the  splen- 
dor confronts  him.  It  is  not  a  single  highway  of  en- 
richment. There  are  side-ways,  by-ways,  turnings  here 
and  there,  labyrinthine  paths  and  recesses,  and  all  of  them 
abounding  in  unsuspected  jewels  of  grace."  These  un- 
searchable or  untrackable  riches  Dr.  Simpson  explored 
as  few  men  have  done,  and  the  amazing  treasures  he  dis- 
covered he  loved  to  declare. 

What  abundant  illustrations  of  the  spaciousness  of  his 
ministry  may  be  found  in  a  volume  of  sermons  published 

238  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

nearly  thirty  years  ago.  The  volume  is  entitled  A  Larger 
Christian  Life,  and  the  very  titles  of  the  sermons  sug- 
gest this  conception  of  amplitude :  "The  Possibilities  of 
Faith";  "The  Larger  Life";  "Filled  with  the  Spirit"; 
"More  than  Conquerors" ;  "Grace  Abounding" ;  "God's 
Measureless  Measures";  "Enlarged  Work,"  etc. 

In  October,  1887,  in  the  opening  address  at  the  New 
York  Convention  Dr.  Simpson  allowed  his  imagination 
full  play  as  he  described  the  marvels  of  the  Palace  Beau- 
tiful into  which  his  audience  was  invited  to  enter :  "You 
will  be  led  a  little  way  at  this  Convention  through  this 
Palace  Beautiful,  with  its  four  grand  walls  corresponding 
to  our  glorious  four-fold  Gospel.  The  front  wall  is  Sal- 
vation. The  north  wall  to  protect  you  from  the  cold  winds 
is  Sanctification.  The  wall  on  the  south,  from  which  the 
hot  winds  of  disease  blow,  is  Divine  healing.  The  east- 
ern wall,  toward  the  sun-rising,  is  the  point  from  which 
we  are  looking  for  our  coming  King.  We  look  above  us, 
and  the  wings  of  the  Holy  Spirit  are  spread  there  as  a 
canopy.  We  are  thus  shut  in  in  His  pavilion.  I  have 
not  time  to  tell  you  of  all  the  chambers  in  this  wonderful 
house.  There  is  the  bath-room,  in  which  you  may  be 
cleansed  from  all  the  filth  of  the  flesh,  and  emerge  a  puri- 
fied soul.  There  is  the  banqueting-room,  in  which  you 
can  feed  your  hungry  spirit.  There  is  the  chamber  of 
rest,  in  which  you  will  find  that  peace  which  passeth  all 
understanding  and  lose  all  your  care  and  fear.  There  is 
the  library,  in  which  you  can  learn  the  Word  and  the 
will  of  God.  There  is  the  art-chamber,  with  its  exquisite 
pictures  of  heavenly  things.  Above  is  the  observatory 
where  you  can  look  out  upon  the  land  that  is  very  far  off. 
God  grant  that,  as  weary  pilgrims,  you  may  be  well  enter- 
tained in   this   Palace   Beautiful,   of   which  the  Master 


Himself  is  the  chief  delight.  In  my  own  heart  the  one 
word,  Illimitable,  has  been  painted.  May  He,  indeed, 
bring  us  beyond  our  limit,  filling  us  with  all  the  fullness 
of  God." 

Dr.  Simpson's  ministry  was  uncommonly  fruitful  be- 
cause he  found  in  an  ever-increasing  measure  that  the  il- 
limitable mines  of  riches  he  had  discovered,  were  usable 
riches,  fitting  into  every  possible  condition  of  human  sin, 
sorrow,  poverty  and  need.  He  proved,  day  after  day,  in 
the  incessant  activities  which  now  engaged  him,  the  truth 
of  his  own  poem  : 

"I  have  come  to  the  Fountain  of  Love, 
He  fills  all  the  springs  of  my  heart, 
Enthroned  all  others  above, 

Our  friendship  no  power  can  part; 

"And  so  long  as  the  fountain  is  full. 
The  streams  without  measure  must  flow, 

And  the  love  that  He  pours  in  my  soul 
To  others  in  blessing  must  go." 

This  it  was  that  made  his  life  so  radiant  and  useful. 
He  never  saw  a  need  in  human  life  that  did  not  find  its 
complement  in  Jesus  Christ. 

Another  characteristic  of  Dr.  Simpson's  messages  was 
their  Simplicity. 

It  is  indeed  a  great  art,  and  one  to  be  devoutly  coveted, 
to  make  profound  truths  simple  and  easy  of  comprehen- 
sion by  men  and  women  of  ordinary  intelligence.  Like 
His  Master,  because  of  this,  "the  common  people  heard 
him  gladly."  He  was  the  very  antipodes  of  the  Scotch 
minister  who  was  said  to  be  incomprehensible  on  the 
Sabbath  and  invisible  all  the  week. 

240  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

The  doctrine  of  the  Indwelling  of  Chirst  has  been  so 
greatly  neglected  during  the  last  half  century  that  it  has 
been  called  a  lost  doctrine.  While  that  prince  of  exposi- 
tors, Dr.  Alexander  Maclaren,  of  Manchester,  was  calling 
attention  in  Great  Britain  to  this  lost  doctrine,  Dr.  A.  B. 
Simpson  was  doing  the  same  in  this  country. 

"The  glad  thought,"  Dr.  Maclaren  says,  "of  an  indwell- 
ing Christ  who  actually  abides  and  works  in  our  hearts, 
and  is  not  only  in  the  heavens,  or  with  us  by  some  kind  of 
impalpable  and  metaphorical  presence,  but  in  spiritual 
reality,  is  in  our  spirits,  has  faded  away  from  the  con- 
sciousness of  the  Christian  Church.  We  are  called  'mys- 
tics' when  we  preach  Christ  in  the  heart.  Unless  your 
Christianity  be  in  the  good,  deep,  sense  of  the  word 
'mystical,'  it  is  mechanical  which  is  worse." 

"This  truth  of  the  Indwelling  of  Christ,"  says  Dr.  Simp- 
son, "is  no  vague  figure  of  speech,  this  is  no  dream  of 
Pantheism,  of  New  Theology,  or  of  the  Divine  Imma- 
nence, but  it  is  a  great  supernatural  fact  which  marks  a 
crisis  in  every  Christian's  life  when  the  Son  of  God  be- 
comes incarnate  in  the  believer,  just  as  truly  as  He  be- 
came incarnate  in  the  Christ  of  Judea  and  Galilee.  The 
man  who  apprehends  this  truth  and  goes  forth  from  that 
sacred  hour  of  transformation  is  no  longer  a  mere  man 
fighting  the  battle  of  life  even  with  Divine  assistance,  but 
is  a  Christ-man,  an  anointed  soul,  a  dual  life  with  two 
persons  united  in  everlasting  bonds,  one,  the  lowly  dis- 
ciple, the  other,  the  living  Christ,  and  these  two  henceforth 
forever  one,  'Not  I,  but  Christ  who  liveth  in  me.' 

"Once  there  lived  another  man   within   me, 
Child  of  earth  and  slave  of  Satan  he; 
But  I  nailed  him  to  the  cross  of  Jesus 
And  that  man  is  nothing  now  to  me. 


"Now  another  Man  is  living  in  me, 

And  I  count  His  blessed  life  as  mine; 
I  have  died  to  all  my  own  life, 
I  have  risen  to  all  His  life  Divine. 

"Ill  what  sense  is  this  a  mystery  ?  No  human  mind  or 
heart  had  ever  dreamed  of  it.  Ancient  mythology  had 
foreshadowed  some  union  of  God  with  man,  but  it  was 
a  union  which  only  degraded  their  gods  and  did  not  lift 
mankind  and  still  left  a  great  gulf  between  the  earthly  and 
the  heavenly. 

"It  is  a  secret  of  which  the  world  has  no  conception. 
Think  of  it  and  try  to  realize  it — not  only  a  God  that 
mercifully  pardons  our  guilt  and  saves  us  from  its  con- 
sequences ;  not  only  a  God  that  gives  to  us  a  new  nature 
that  loves  to  do  the  right  which  once  we  hated ;  not  only 
a  God  that  comes  to  our  aid  in  temptation  and  trial  and 
interposes  His  strength  and  His  providence  for  our  de- 
liverance but  above  all  this,  a  God  Who  comes  Himself 
to  live  His  own  life  in  us ;  Who  takes  us  into  the  Divine 
family;  Who  makes  us  partakers  of  the  Divine  nature; 
Who  undertakes  our  life  for  us ;  Who  becomes  the  Author 
and  Perfecter  of  our  faith.  Who  'works  in  us  both  to  will 
and  to  do  of  His  good  pleasure.' 

"What  does  human  poetry,  human  philosophy — the  pur- 
est form  of  human  religion — know  of  anything  like  this? 
No  wonder  Paul  was  aflame  with  the  enthusiasm  of  his 
glorious  discovery  and  longed  to  sweep  like  an  angel 
flying  in  the  midst  of  heaven  to  tell  our  helpless  race  the 
mighty  secret,  not  only  that  God  had  come  down  to  visit 
men  with  a  message  of  mercy,  but  that  He  had  come  to 
stay  and  live  within  them  with  'the  power  of  an  endless 

It  is  earnestly  to  be  hoped  that  in  the  near  future,  there 

242  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

will  be  given  to  the  public,  in  a  separate  volume,  a  collec- 
tion of  Dr.  Simpson's  marvelously  luminous  sermons  on 
this  subject. 

The  following  is  a  specimen,  among  scores  of  others, 
of  how  he  reduces  to  simple  and  easily  apprehended  lan- 
guage, one  aspect  of  this  great  doctrine,  and  shows  the 
relationship  between  the  indwelling  of  Christ  and  the  O; 
dwelling  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  a  subject  so  full  of  perplexity 
to  so  many. 

"One  of  the  most  attractive  lights  in  which  the  Holy 
Spirit  is  revealed  to  us  in  the  New  Testament  is  in  con- 
nection with  the  Person  of  Jesus  Christ.  The  Holy  Spirit 
is  a  pure  Spirit,  and  has  not  been  incarnated  in  human 
flesh  as  the  Son  of  God  was  in  His  birth  and  earthly 
life.  Instead  of  this  He  has  been  so  united  to  Jesus 
Christ,  that  He  partakes  of  the  incarnation  of  the  Son 
of  God,  and  comes  to  us  clothed  in  the  humanity  of  Jesus, 
softened  and  humanized  by  His  relation  to  Him  and  His 
residence  in  Him  during  the  whole  period  of  His  earthly 

"In  receiving  Him  we  just  receive  the  Lord  Jesus  Him- 
self. He  comes  to  us  to  impart  the  very  life  of  Jesus 
Christ.  He  takes  the  qualities  that  were  in  Him,  and 
makes  them  ours.  He  transfers  to  us  the  purity,  the 
love,  the  gentleness,  the  faith  of  Jesus  Christ,  and  so 
imparts  to  us  His  very  nature  as  to  reproduce  in  us  His 
life,  and  we  live,  in  a  very  literal  and  real  way,  the  Christ- 
life  as  our  own  experience. 

"Cease  to  look  to  the  Holy  Spirit  as  simply  an  addition 
to  your  human  virtue  and  strength ;  and  surrendering  self 
entirely,  accept  Him  as  the  divine  medium  through  whom 
Christ  is  made  unto  us  a  wisdom  from  God,  consisting 
of  righteousness,  sanctification  and  redemption. 


"This  is  a  very  attractive  conception  of  the  Christian 
life.  It  is  not  our  holiness,  but  the  life  of  our  Lord.  It 
is  not  our  struggle  with  the  old  nature,  but  it  is  the  im- 
parting of  a  new  nature,  and  the  indwelling  of  a  new 
life.  Hence  it  follows  that  when  the  Holy  Spirit  comes 
into  our  life  and  consciousness,  it  is  Jesus  that  is  made 
real  to  us  rather  than  the  Spirit,  who  never  speaks  of 

"Jesus  is  not  only  the  pattern,  but  the  source  of  our 
life,  ^nd  it  is  the  business  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  day  by  day, 
and  moment  by  moment  to  transfer  His  qualities  into 
our  life.  Do  we  need  patience?  We  just  draw  it  from 
Him  through  the  Holy  Spirit.  Do  we  need  power?  We 
take  a  deeper  draught  of  His  fullness,  and  He  becomes 
our  power.  Do  we  need  love?  We  draw  a  little  nearer 
to  Christ  the  Loving  One,  and  through  the  Holy  Spirit, 
His  love  is  shed  abroad  in  our  hearts. 

"So  the  deeper  Christian  life  becomes  as  simple  as  the 
life  of  a  babe;  as  instinctive  as  breathing;  as  high  and 
lofty  in  its  standard  of  righteousness  as  the  very  holiness 
of  Deity.  It  is  at  once  transcendently  great,  and  yet  de- 
lightfully easy.    It  is  God's  great  secret  of  holy  living/' 

Who  can  wonder  that  his  exultant  spirit  so  often  broke 
forth  into  song: 

"This  is  my  wonderful  story, 
Qirist  to  my  heart  has  come; 
Jesus,  the  King  of  Glory, 
Finds  in  my  heart  a  home. 

"How  can  I  ever  be  lonely, 

How  can  I  ever  fall ; 

What  can  I  want,  if  only 

Christ  is  my  all  in  all! 

244  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

"Christ   in    me,    O   wonderful   story, 
Christ  in  me,  the  hope  of  glory." 

A  third  characteristic  of  this  great  preacher's  messages 
and  writings  is  their  Sanity. 

Before  me  is  an  article  on  Spiritual  Sanity  which  Dr. 
Simpson  wrote  because  of  swarms  of  hysterical  excite- 
ments that  prevailed,  and  particularly  because  of  the 
danger  that  the  special  gifts  of  the  Holy  Spirit  should  be 
so  travestied  that  rational  Christians  would  turn  away 
from  the  truly  supernatural  and  divine  manifestations  of 
the  power  of  God  through  fear  of  the  counterfeit. 

With  these  unbalanced  presentations  of  the  deepest 
truths,  which  created  so  much  prejudice  in  the  minds  of 
intelligent  thoughtful  seekers  after  God's  best,  he  had 
no  sympathy.  Nor  could  he  regard  with  favor  the  sen- 
sationalism with  which  so  many  so-called  revivals  were 
attended.  He  says :  "The  Lord  Jesus  was  never  undig- 
nified, spectacular  or  ridiculous  in  His  personal  bearing 
and  earthly  ministry.  Not  once  did  He  resort  to  the 
tricks  of  the  stage  performer  to  attract  the  public.  The 
calm  dignity  and  resistless  power  of  His  presence  and 
all  His  work,  were  sufficient  to  advertise  Him,  and  again 
and  again,  even  w^hen  He  sought  retirement  'He  could 
not  be  hid.'  Surely  if  the  example  of  our  Lord  has  any 
weight  with  respect  to  the  bearing  and  deportment  of  His 
servants,  we  shall  find  little  encouragement  in  the  Mas- 
ter's example  for  many  of  our  modern  methods  of  at- 
tracting the  multitude  and  manifesting  the  power  of  the 

The  last  paragraph  of  this  article  is  so  sane  and  strong 
that  we  venture,  in  closing,  to  reproduce  it.  "It  has  been 
well  said,  that  the  element  of  proportion  is  indispensable, 
both   in   natural  and  spiritual   things.      The   atmosphere 


we  breathe  depends  for  its  wholesomeness  upon  the  exact 
proportions  in  which  the  different  constituents  are  mingled 
in  the  air.  A  Httle  more  carbon,  a  Httle  more  hydrogen, 
or  a  little  more  oxygen,  would  bring  death  in  a  single 
instant  to  the  whole  human  race.  It  is  because  these  ele- 
ments are  so  perfectly  mingled  that  the  air  we  breathe 
brings  life  and  wholesomeness.  It  is  precisely  so  with 
the  gifts  of  the  Spirit.  The  spirit  of  love  alone  will  make 
us  sentimental,  unless  it  is  mixed  with  power  and  wis- 
dom. The  spirit  of  wisdom  alone  will  make  us  cold  and 
hard,  unless  it  is  mixed  with  love.  The  spirit  of  power 
alone  will  run  all  the  trains  off  the  track,  unless  wisdom 
stands  at  the  engine  and  directs  the  way.  God  give  us 
the  blended  fullness  of  the  Holy  Spirit,  the  holy  tact  of 
the  Master,  who  'increased  in  wisdom  and  in  favor  with 
God  and  man,'  and  'the  spirit  of  love,  and  of  power,  and 
of  a  sound  mind'." 



By  Kenneth  Mackenzie 
President  of  the  Inland  South  American  Union. 

TWO  significant  facts  mark  the  workings  of  God  in 
the  periodical  awakenings  of  His  Church — first,  the 
agents  employed  are  not  conscious  that  their  work  is  to 
be  widely  known  and  felt;  second,  such  awakenings  are 
ever  coincidental  with  counter  movements.  These  facts 
are  conspicuous  in  the  life  and  labors  of  our  beloved 
brother,  A.  B.  Simpson. 

He  could  not  know,  when  he  surrendered  the  comforts 
of  a  stated  parish  for  the  exigencies  of  a  life  of  faith, 
that  he  was  to  become  the  founder  and  executive  of  one 
of  the  greatest  missionary  organizations  of  modern  times. 
Nor  yet  did  he  realize  that  God  had  called  him  to  rescue 
from  "peril  of  perdition"  many  souls  who  were  likely  to 
drift  in  the  tide  of  unbelief  which  was  at  that  time  rising. 

Those  of  us  who  recall  the  days  of  the  early  seventies, 
need  no  reminder  that  the  subtle  and  sinister  insinuations 
of  Christian  Science  were  beginning  to  quicken  the  curi- 
osity of  the  unstable.  God  had  raised  up  Dr.  Cullis  to  be 
the  apostle  of  spiritual  healing,  at  that  time  popularly 
called  "Faith  Cure,"  and  his  extensive  operations  in  that 
field  had  won  for  him  the  unique  compliment  embraced 
in  the  address  of  a  letter  from  England  designed  for  him, 
"The  Man  in  America  who  Believes  God."    In  justice  to 


Dr.  Cullis,  we  must  testify  that  his  influence  over  the  life 
of  Albert  B.  Simpson  was  not  inconsequential  at  the  very 
time  when  the  step  of  faith  was  to  be  taken.  Dr.  Cullis, 
however,  did  not  live  to  prove  God  in  withstanding  the 
new  metaphysical,  pseudo-Christian  movement.  That 
was  given  to  Dr.  Simpson. 

We  did  not  find  him,  however,  ranting  against  the  cult. 
He  rather  employed  the  positive  method.  To  help 
people  to  resist  error,  one  must  give  them  truth.  He 
therefore  entered  the  arena  armed  with  the  real  Gospel 
of  healing,  affirming  and  testifying  both  in  teaching  and 
experience  that  "Yesterday,  today,  forever,  Jesus  is  the 
same."  We  bless  God  that  he  taught  the  great  essential 
of  faith,  that  not  healing  but  God  Himself  is  the  true 
quest  of  life.    His  immortal  poem 

"Once  it  was  the  blessing, 
Now  it  is  the  Lord" 

stands  as  a  perpetual  reminder  of  his  keen  vision  of  God's 
purpose.  It  were  not  amiss  to  say  that  in  the  beginning 
of  his  healing  ministry,  faith  in  the  promises  was  the  all- 
essential  and  culminating  pre-requisite.  But  he  came  to 
the  place,  as  he  grew  in  the  life  of  his  Lord,  where  he 
was  convinced  that  the  Cross  of  Calvary  is  significantly 
related  to  our  physical  need.  As  sin  was  the  precursor, 
aye,  the  parent  of  sickness,  the  conquest  wrought  for  us 
by  our  Lord  in  His  sacrificial  death  must  reach  the  physi- 
cal as  well  as  the  spiritual  needs  of  mankind.  Not  a  few 
have  dissented  from  this  position,  but  he  could  not  do 
otherwise  than  teach  it,  once  the  conviction  possessed  his 
ardent  soul. 

And  he  had  yet  another  step  to  take,  which  I  think  had 
not  been  discerned  by  his  predecessors  or  contemporaries. 

248  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

It  was  that  physical  Hfe  is  guaranteed  to  the  believer 
through  the  exalted  resurrection  body  of  our  Lord  Jesus, 
the  Head  of  the  Church.  From  this  postulate  arose  a 
new  interpretation  of  physical  ills  and  weaknesses.  If  by 
one  stroke  of  faith  they  were  not  removed  and  full  re- 
covery to  health  conferred,  it  was  that  the  life  of  Jesus 
should  be  made  manifest  in  our  mortal  flesh,  by  our 
willingness  to  bear  in  our  bodies  the  dying  of  Jesus,  In 
other  words,  God  might  not  take  away  the  sickness,  but 
leave  it  to  be  overflowed  and  overmastered  by  the  abound- 
ing life  of  our  Lord.  As  a  consequence,  our  beloved 
brother  reached  to  the  sublimity  of  faith  in  the  achieve- 
ment of  standing  with  God  who  calls  those  things  that 
be  not  as  though  they  were !  And  out  of  weakness, 
always  present,  the  saint  of  God  could  glory  in  his  in- 
firmities that  the  power  of  Christ  might  rest  upon  him. 
I  recall  two  significant  instances  in  which  he  illustrated 
this  experience. 

At  a  Friday  meeting,  many  years  ago,  he  was  mani- 
festly battling  with  a  high  fever ;  we  felt  that  if  he  dared 
to  fall  from  his  standard  of  faith,  he  could  be  ill  in  bed. 
But  as  he  ministered,  the  evidence  of  the  outpouring  of 
the  divine  life  was  so  apparent  to  us  who  watched  him 
with  loving  solicitude,  that  we  were  moved  to  rejoice  with 
him  in  his  victory.  When  the  first  convention  was  held 
in  Nyack,  September,  1897,  it  was  wonderful  to  see  him, 
climbing  the  high  ascent  from  the  lower  levels  with  the 
elasticity  of  youth.  It  seemed  as  though  nothing  could 
weary  him. 

This  epoch  in  his  ministry  had  a  far-reaching  influence. 
Doctrines,  as  he  always  had,  he  still  strongly  presented, 
but  he  accentuated  the  declaration  of  the  truth  of  God 
by  the  all-absorbing  plea  that  the  Lord  Jesus  should  have. 


sovereignty  in  the  life  of  the  believer.  The  one  unique 
text  which  has  for  many  years  hung  on  the  walls  of  the 
Tabernacle,  and  which  most  clearly  and  unctuously  de- 
fined his  mind  and  heart  was  "Jesus  Only." 

As  I  write  these  words,  I  have  before  me  a  Christmas 
card  received  from  a  kindly  friend,  a  very  noble  man, 
which  offers  a  strong  contrast  to  Dr.  Simpson's  enriched 
experience.  This  card,  after  the  conventional  Christmas 
greeting,  contains  the  words  in  his  own  hand,  "And  I 
attest  that  the  Christ-birth  comes  but  once  in  an  incar- 
nation ;  and  blessed  is  he  who  gives  it  the  fullest  measure 
of  devotion  as  divine  knowledge  and  not  as  personality." 
I  am  certified  that  Dr.  Simpson  had  even  then  seen  this 
seductive  Buddhistic  pantheism  so  guilefully  adopting 
New  Testament  history  and  nomenclature  that  many 
professing  Christians  cannot  detect  the  fraud. 

This  specious  system  of  reasoning,  imported  from 
India,  denies  the  existence  of  sin,  save  as  it  gives  to  that 
horrible  thing  its  own  fantastic  interpretation,  and  conse- 
quently has  no  vital  place  for  the  Cross  of  Calvary.  The 
resurrection  of  our  Lord  is  comprehended  in  a  cryptic 
and  meaningless  sense.  If  we  read  the  two  Epistles  to 
the  Corinthians  aright,  we  come  to  the  conviction  that 
St.  Paul  met  this  very  thing  in  that  proud  city  as  well 
as  in  Colosse,  and  that  it  wrung  from  his  heart  the  de- 
vout confession  "I  determined  to  know  nothing  among 
you  save  Jesus  Christ  and  him  crucified." 

So  far  as  this  "divine  knowledge"  affects  the  physical 
man,  and  is  marked  by  a  wide  exploitation  of  the  heal- 
ing prerogatives,  it  makes  the  inestimable  boon  of  health 
to  proceed,  not  from  God  as  a  person,  but  from  the  divine 
which  is  the  inherent  right  of  all  men.  The  covenant 
rights  of  the  New  Testament,  purchased  through  the  blood 

250  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

of  our  Lord,  vitalized  by  His  exaltation  to  the  right  hand 
of  God,  is  repudiated ;  and  when  the  processes  are  filtered, 
the  resultant  solution  is  not  the  Giver  of  health,  but  health 
itself.  The  power  is  within.  The  behest  to  Jew  or  Gen- 
tile, Christian  or  heathen,  is  "tap  the  inexhaustible  veins 
of  indwelling  potentiality  and  you  will  be  rich," 

Another  vital  truth  for  which  Dr.  Simpson  firmly  stood 
was  that  the  fullness  of  redemption  could  not  be  until  the 
Lord  Jesus  should  come  in  His  glory  and  perfect  the 
work  He  had  begun  on  the  Cross.  The  creed  of  these 
cults  is  that  the  present  life  is  the  only  life,  the  present 
world  the  only  world.  Reincarnation  may  bring  men 
back,  but  it  is  to  the  same  order  of  existence,  conse- 
quently, there  is  no  anticipation  of  the  life  to  come.  There 
is  no  preparation  "to  depart  and  be  with  Christ,"  no  thrill 
of  expectation  in  our  manifestation  as  the  children  of 
God.  The  exultant  hope  of  the  New  Testament  has  no 
throb  of  expectancy. 

Related  to  what  has  been  defined,  we  have  to  note  next, 
Dr.  Simpson's  rational  popularizing  of  the  doctrine  of 
our  Lord's  second  coming.  Through  jubilant  song  and 
clear  exposition  this  discarded  doctrine  has  come  to  be 
received  by  thousands  who  had  never  even  heard  of  it  in 
their  churches.  And  myriads  of  souls  have  gone  forth 
from  the  services  in  the  Tabernacle  or  at  conventions,  in- 
spired and  energized  by  the  Blessed  Hope.  The  unpopu- 
larity of  Second  Adventism  needed  the  rich  and  mellow 
presentation  of  the  New  Testament  truth  of  our  Lord's 
return  to  encourage  the  weak  and  confirm  the  strong. 
No  man  in  his  day  and  generation  did  so  much  to  make 
the  appearing  of  our  Lord  vital  and  entrancing  as  did 
Albert  B.  Simpson.     And  the  glory  of  it  is  that  he  d,ld 


not  make  it  an  obtrusive  hobby.  It  was  a  part  of  the 
rounded  whole  of  the  entire  truth. 

And  this  leads  us  to  consider  the  wisdom  and  tact  with 
which  he  conducted  the  work.  In  every  such  movement 
radicalism  is  pregnantly  threatening.  His  critics  called 
him  "a.  faith-curist."  But  healing  was  only  a  part  of  his 
ministry.  If  they  failed  to  see  it,  they  erred  for  want  of 
knowledge.  So  while  he  was  accused  of  being  a  fanatic 
in  preaching  the  coming  of  the  Lord,  his  judges  were 
ignorant  of  the  sweet  reasonableness  with  which  he  pre- 
sented it.  Many  a  man  has  gone  to  his  meetings  for  the 
purpose  of  discovering  preconceived  confirmations  of  ex- 
travagance, only  to  leave  disarmed  and  humbled  by  the 
winsomeness  of  the  man  and  the  indisputableness  of  his 
teaching.  We  may  clearly  discern  from  this  that  ex- 
tremists found  no  congenial  soil  in  which  to  propagate 
their  special  plants.  The  most  skilful  and  tender  diplo- 
macy was  at  times  needed  to  curb  some  outlandish  idio- 
syncrasy which  would  have  imperilled  the  undertaking. 
But  he  was  equal  to  it  for  he  was  so  splendidly  poised 
himself.  It  is  a  rare  gift,  and  essentially  divine,  to  turn 
such  corners  as  he  had  to,  ever  and  again  in  all  the  long 
years  of  his  memorable  leadership.  Of  course,  he  could 
not  expect  to  square  with  every  fad  and  fancy  that  en- 
tered his  doors.  He  had  to  be  firm  and  he  was,  but  he 
was  always  gentle  and  considerate. 

When  he  began  his  life  of  faith  and  his  ministry  to  the 
common  people,  the  taint  of  Modernism  was  newly  af- 
fecting the  minds  of  the  clergy  and  poisoning  the  faith  of 
the  people  in  the  inspiration  of  the  Word  of  God.  Many 
a  distracted  soul  sought  refuge  from  the  speculations  of 
the  pulpit  and  "the  assured  results"  of  the  critics,  by  a 
visit  to  his  services.    I  have  known  more  than  one  per- 

252  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

plexed  minister,  uneasily  feeling  the  pressure  of  clerical 
essays  in  the  religious  publications  of  the  day,  to  quietly 
steal  into  the  meetings  at  the  Tabernacle  and  get  tone  for 
purer  preaching  and  more  devoted  service.  Probably  no 
man,  save  Spurgeon,  did  so  much  for  the  hard-working 
and  truth-loving  clergyman  as  he,  through  the  published 
sermons  which  he  gave  to  the  world  each  week.  And  as 
for  those  whose  faith  was  becoming  unsettled  in  the 
churches,  whether  or  not  they  could  hear  his  voice,  his 
teachings  on  the  printed  page  brought  renewed  assurance 
in  the  "Impregnable  Rock  of  the  Holy  Scriptures." 

We  remark  once  more,  that  he  did  this  effective  work, 
not  by  direct  assault  upon  the  enemies'  lines,  but  by  the 
gentle  persuasion  of  affirmative  teaching.  To  him,  one 
"Thus  saith  the  Lord"  was  worth  a  volume  of  argu- 
ments. And  the  glory  of  it  all  is,  that  while  now  the 
stream  of  Criticism  is  receding ;  while  one  of  the  stalwart 
chiefs  has  confessed,  "There  can  be  no  solution  of  the 
present  unrest  until  there  is  a  return  to  positions  which 
have  been  forsaken,"  Dr.  Simpson  may  look  into  the 
face  of  his  Lord  in  that  great  day  with  the  enriched  re- 
membrance that  he  forsook  nothing.  He  intensified  that 
which  he  had  believed ;  he  deepened  foundations ;  he 
strengthened  existing  confidences  and  dispelled  by  the 
certainty  of  his  message  every  question  of  the  truth.  He 
lived  to  see  some  of  the  fruits  of  this  steadfastness;  and 
coming  years  will  justify  his  fidelity  and  consistency. 

Believing  as  he  did  in  the  Biblical  presentation  of  the 
future  life,  and  placing  upon  the  statements  of  the  Scrip- 
tures a  logical  meaning,  the  tide  of  so-called  Spiritualism 
but  energized  him  to  breast  the  wave  with  courage  and 
decision.  Here  again  he  met  a  popular  tendency  by  a 
positive  and  kindly  presentation  of  God's  Word.    I  can- 


not  recall  any  studious  refutation  of  this  fallacy  from 
his  pen.  He  had  only  to  make  his  affirmation  of  truth 
and  leave  it  with  God.  But  he  gave  to  those,  whom  he 
deemed  fitted  for  the  task,  the  opportunity  to  present  de- 
fined expositions  to  the  readers  of  The  Alliance  Weekly 
and  the  books  published  under  his  supervision.  The  testi- 
mony to  the  effectual  influence  of  such  literature  has 
been  abounding  and  most  gratifying.  Whole  families 
have  been  saved  from  this  now  universal  deception. 
Thank  God,  the  imprimatur  which  he  set  upon  standards 
of  faith  and  conduct,  by  which  the  AlHance  should  be 
established,  was  fixed  and  permanent. 

While  it  would  be  abhorrent  to  him,  as  it  is  indeed  to 
me,  to  classify  in  this  chapter  a  certain  movement  within 
the  Alliance  circles,  I  cannot  refrain  from  recording  the 
agony  through  which  he  passed  when  so  many  of  his  most 
trusted  and  valued  friends  and  workers  withdrew  from 
him  because  he  did  not  go  with  them  to  the  Hmit  which 
was  their  ideal.  He  could  not  say  of  them,  as  did  St. 
John,  ''They  went  out  from  us,  but  they  were  not  of  us," 
for  they  were.  Their  presence  and  prayers,  their  sym- 
pathy and  service  had  been  a  bulwark  to  him  in  times 
of  stress  and  strain.  But  he  had  to  see  them  go  from 
him  and  trust  God  with  the  consummation,  whatever 
that  might  be.  If  there  be  some  who  contend  that  he 
missed  the  golden  hour  of  his  ministry,  equally  certified 
are  they  who  believe  that  consistency  to  the  standards 
he  had  set  demanded  that  he  should  hold  firmly  to  what 
had  been  revealed  to  him  as  God's  purpose  for  the  great 
body  of  which  he  was  the  trusted  custodian. 

His  great  heart  suft'ered  hours  of  pain  when  he  found 
the  insinuating  perversion  of  truth,  widely  known  as  Mil- 
lennial Dawnism,  eating  into  the  ranks  of  the  Alliance 

254  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

people.  There  is  so  much  that  is  plausible  in  that  teach- 
ing, so  much  that  accords  with  the  criterion  of  faith  as 
set  forth  in  the  Alliance  doctrines,  that  he  was  troubled 
to  know  how  to  meet  it.  The  disciples  of  that  school  were 
at  conventions,  soliciting  private  conversations,  handing 
out  literature  at  the  close  of  meetings.  But  he  saw  most 
keenly  that  persuasion  must  come  through  the  Holy 
Spirit.  Our  brother  W.  C.  Stevens'  admirable  treatise 
amply  covered  the  ground  of  disputation,  and  the  matter 
could  rest  with  God.  But  I  am  sure  the  weak  places 
in  that  system,  without  being  indicated,  were  met  and 
overcome  in  strong  appeal  from  pen  and  pulpit.  Any 
propaganda  that  could  adulterate  the  Deity  of  our  Lord 
Jesus,  that  could  put  fanciful  interpretations  upon  the 
doctrine  of  the  future  life,  that  could  deny  a  place  in 
the  present  age  to  missions,  must  demand  a  brave 

The  trend  of  all  these  movements  is  to  draw  people 
to  themselves  and  away  from  the  Church  of  the  Living 
God.  I  can  well  recall  how  this  problem  came  to  Mr. 
Simpson  at  a  period  of  the  life  of  the  Alliance  when 
methods  were  still  in  solution  awaiting  crystallization. 
He  labored  to  help  the  churches;  "come-outism"  was 
offensive  to  him ;  he  longed  to  send  the  people  back  to 
their  prayer  meetings  with  the  fresh  witness  of  their  full 
salvation.  But  he  came  to  see  that  he  must  house  and 
care  for  those  who  had  received  his  testimony  whom  the 
churches  would  not  tolerate.  Consequently,  there  grew 
the  need  of  a  Tabernacle  and  an  ecclesiastical  organization. 

In  contrast  to  the  worldly-minded  policy  and  mercenary 
motives  of  some  modern  movements  which  alienate  con- 
verts from  the  Christian  bodies  in  which  they  were  born 
and  reared,  our  brother  ever  unselfishly  advised  the  people: 


who  came  to  him  to  "go  tell  how  great  things  the  Lord 
hath  done."     The  mighty  dollar  never  spread  a  glamor 
over  his  eyes.    Whatever  came  to  him  was  as  from  the 
Lord.     The  greatness  of  the  giver,  the  largeness  of  the 
gift  never  intoxicated  him.     Sophie's  early  sacrifices  were 
as  dear  to  his  heart  as  the  liberal  contributions  of  those 
who  gave  of  their  abundance.    And  the  motive  is  not  far 
to  find.    He  was  God's  servant ;  in  God's  care  he  rested ; 
success  or  failure  were  inconsequential  so  long  as  God 
had  His  way.     If  he  could  send  one  man  or  woman  into 
some  church  where  the   light   received   should   touch   a 
torch  or  fan  a  flame,  he  was  filled  with  joy.     Only  that 
the  Lord  Jesus  might  be  glorified,  did  he  labor  and  pray. 
If  he  could  have  set  the  whole  of  Christendom   aglow 
with  clear  perspective  of  truth  and  compelling  unction 
to  do  the  work  of  God,  he  would  have  been  content  to 
sink  out  of  sight.    How  he  charms  us  as  we  recount  this 
devotion ! 

And  there  remains  yet  this  to  be  said  in  contrariety  of 
these  modern  fads.  Wealth  they  seek  and  get  in  volumes, 
for  the  spread  of  their  special  propaganda.  The  vast 
sums  that  are  laid  on  their  altars  put  to  shame  the  beg- 
garly offerings  of  evangelical  Christendom.  The  reason 
is  not  far  too  seek.  The  Church  of  the  Living  God  does 
not  take  its  religion  wholeheartedly.  These  people,  who 
were  once  in  the  churches,  do.  They  think  they  have 
something  which  the  Church  never  could  give  them,  and 
they  prove  their  joy  in  the  possession  by  an  abundant 
reciprocation.  From  the  standpoint  of  consistency,  exter- 
nal to  the  un-Christian  character  of  the  systems,  we  must 
admit  that  they  have  the  right  on  their  side.  But  their 
attachment  is  not  to  God  and  to  His  work.  They  see 
only  the  bringing  into  many  other  lives  of  the  new  and 

256  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

alluring  vision  which  has  so  thrillingly  opened  to  them. 
As  we  contemplate  Dr.  Simpson's  dedication  to  God 
and  feel  his  pulse-beat  of  longing  for  "one  sinner  that 
repenteth"  as  we  stand  with  him  and  hear  his  passionate 
appeal  for  the  "regions  beyond,"  how  magnificently  he 
looms  up  as  God's  servant  doing  the  will  of  God  from 
the  heart,  seeking  nothing,  wanting  nothing  but  His  Lord's 
gratification  of  soul-travail  in  the  saving  of  a  lost  hu- 
manity for  whom  He  laid  down  His  life. 



By  James  M.  Gray,  D.D, 
Dean  of  the  Moody  Bible  Institute,  Chicago 

I  FEEL  the  need  of  apology  for  using  the  word  "sane- 
ness"  as  descriptive  of  a  man  of  Dr.  Simpson's  char- 
acter and  standing,  and  yet  it  is  employed  deliberately 
and  much  as  his  co-laborer.  Dr.  Turnbull,  has  employed 
it  in  speaking  of  the  Nyack  Institute  which  Dr.  Simpson 
founded.  He  said  its  attitude  is  one  "that  lifts  the  mind 
out  of  morbidness  or  fanaticism  into  sane  and  normal 
relations  to  God  and  man." 

There  were  those  who  did  not  know  Dr.  Simpson  other 
than  as  his  critics  and  the  press  sometimes  represented 
him,  and  who  considered  him  visionary,  impractical,  a 
hobbyist,  a  maker  of  extravagant  claims,  an  egotist,  and 
some  other  things  not  so  capable  of  refined  mention.  "It 
is  enough  for  the  disciple  that  he  be  as  his  master  and 
the  servant  as  his  lord.  If  they  have  called  the  master 
of  the  house  Beelzebub,  how  much  more  shall  they  call 
them  of  his  household?"  (Matthew  10:25). 

The  constructive  work  in  which  he  was  ever  engaged, 
the  enduring  evidence  of  which  he  left  behind  him,  would 
seem  a  sufficient  refutation  of  such  implications  or  as- 
sumptions, and  yet  a  personal  testimony  may  not  be  out 
of  place  from  one  who  knew  him  for  years,  and  from 
different  angles,  though  not  privileged  to  be  a  member 
of  the  inner  circle  of  his  friendships. 

258  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

My  knowledge  of  him  began  while  he  was  still  pastor 
of  the  Thirteenth  Street  Presbyterian  Church,  New  York, 
the  successor  of  the  distinguished  Dr.  Burchard,  who 
had  the  name  of  defeating  James  G.  Blaine  for  the  presi- 
dency by  his  famous  bon  mot,  "Rum,  Romanism,  and 

When  Dr.  Simpson  resigned  that  pastorate  and  with- 
drew from  the  Presbytery  in  order  to  preach  the  Gospel 
to  the  non-churchgoers  of  the  great  city,  I  was  one  of 
the  foolish  on-lookers  curious  to  see  how  long  he  would 
hold  out,  and  what  his  next  "crotchet"  might  be.  Dr. 
Kenneth  Mackenzie  is  right  when  he  says,  "it  seemed  as 
though  he  had  wrecked  high  possibility  for  a  venture  that 
could  only  end  in  disaster" ;  and  also  that  "satire,  cen- 
sure, and  condemnation  were  freely  offered  him." 

As  his  Old  Orchard  experience  had  preceded  this  step 
by  some  months,  he  was  already,  if  I  mistake  not,  coupling 
the  ministry  of  Divine  healing  with  his  Gospel  preaching, 
which  of  course  added  to  the  curiosity  and  the  "pitying" 
interest  with  which  his  downfall  was  awaited.  But  God 
seemed  able  to  make  him  stand. 

And  indeed  the  discovery  of  this  was  a  cause  of  joy 
to  the  writer  when,  some  time  afterward,  he  himself  was 
passing  through  a  not  dissimilar  spiritual  crisis.  It  was 
in  Boston  where,  settled  over  a  church  in  close  proximity 
to  that  of  the  late  A.  J.  Gordon  of  blessed  memory,  he 
thus  had  an  opportunity  to  study  at  close  range  another 
example  of  a  Spirit-filled  man.  Dr.  Gordon  also  preached 
the  Fourfold  Gospel,  and  his  life  quite  as  much  as  his 
teaching  aided  in  the  interpretation  and  the  understanding 
of  that  in  the  career  of  Dr.  Simpson  which  seemed  so 
different  from  other  men  and  particularly  other  ministers. 

But  by  and  by  I  came  to  know  Dr.  Simpson  himself  at 

THE  SANENESS  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON      259 

conferences,  in  business  matters,  in  his  school  work,  in 
private  homes,  by  sick  beds,  in  the  intimacy  of  Christian 
counsel  and  the  fellowship  of  prayer.  Thus  learning 
what  manner  of  man  he  was,  it  no  longer  seemed  the 
marvel  that  The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance  should 
expand  as  it  had  done,  that  the  Gospel  Tabernacle  should 
be  such  an  attraction  to  God's  saints,  that  the  Old  Orchard 
convention  should  be  a  Mecca  for  half  the  world,  that 
the  Nyack  Institute  should  have  achieved  so  much,  or 
that  the  product  of  his  pen  should  have  filled  so  many 
volumes  and  brought  strength  and  refreshment  to  so 
many  souls. 

His  saneness,  if  I  may  use  the  word,  impressed  me  all 
the  more  because  I  had  expected  something  different.  A 
friend  writes  of  him  that  he  had  the  happy  faculty  of 
devoting  himself  to  a  caller  seeking  counsel  as  though 
he  had  nothing  else  to  do,  perhaps  leaving  the  crowding 
duties  of  his  busy  hours  to  pay  attention  to  him.  And 
I  recall  the  way  he  grew  on  me  when  I  saw  him  more 
than  once,  temporarily  leaving  the  platform  of  a  con- 
vention where  he  had  been  presiding  and  perhaps  deliv- 
ering a  powerful  address,  to  talk  to  some  one  about  a 
detail  such  as  the  publication  of  a  book,  a  lecture  schedule, 
the  entertainment  of  a  guest  or  the  payment  of  a  sum 
of  money,  as  though  it  were  of  all  things  that  in  which  he 
had  the  deepest  interest. 

"Rich    in    saving    common    sense, 
And,  as  the  greatest  only  are, 
In  his  simplicity  sublime." 

The  characteristic  impressed  me  in  casual  intercourse. 
One  was  not  compelled  to  be  on  his  guard  with  Dr. 
Simpson.     As  to  his  piety  and  consecration  there  was 

26o  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

no  question,  and  he  always  seemed  more  than  ordinarily 
engrossed  with  the  things  that  are  not  seen,  and  yet  he 
never  appeared  to  be  expecting  anything  out  of  the  ordi- 
nary in  you ;  that  is  to  say,  he  did  not  by  any  show  of 
sanctity  allure  you  into  a  show  of  cant.  He  could  get 
down  to  your  spiritual  level  without  unkindly  humiliating 
you  by  the  contrast.  A  real  gift  and  an  exhibition  of 
true  grace. 

The  same  must  have  been  noticed  by  any  with  whom 
he  happened  to  differ  on  a  question  of  Scripture  inter- 
pretation. The  hobbyist  or  egotist  conceals  it  with  diffi- 
culty in  such  cases,  but  Dr.  Simpson,  master  of  exegesis 
and  exposition  as  he  was,  while  maintaining  his  opinion 
if  it  seemed  worth  while  to  do  so,  escaped  the  folly  of 
letting  you  suppose  that  he  had  ceased  to  be  a  learner. 

My  thesis  found  a  new  illustration  when  I  went  to 
lecture  periodically  at  the  Missionary  Institute  at  Nyack 
years  ago.  Its  beautiful  situation,  though  very  different 
in  feature  from  that  of  Northfield,  stamped  its  selection 
as  that  of  a  man  with  the  practical  sense  of  D.  L.  Moody ; 
while  its  buildings  and  equipment,  though  limited  in  com- 
parison with  the  older  and  wealthier  institution,  showed 
a  capacity  for  affairs  not  commonly  associated  with  a 

The  days  spent  there,  going  and  coming  at  different 
seasons,  afforded  an  introduction  not  only  to  students 
and  teachers,  but  to  the  officials  conducting  the  business 
of  the  school,  which  commanded  esteem  for  the  adminis- 
trative ability,  to  say  nothing  of  the  grace  and  unction 
of  the  leader  and  director  of  it  all.  Looking  back  upon 
those  days  I  am  able  to  appreciate  another  remark  of  Dr. 
Turnbull,  that  Dr.  Simpson  "breathed  a  spirit  of  happy 
confidence  that  was  simply  contagious." 

THE  SANENESS  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON      261 

An  amusing  personal  incident  of  that  time  did  its  share 
also  to  help  me  see  the  "humanness"  of  Dr.  Simpson  and 
open  a  window  into  his  soul. 

Racing  down  the  mountain  side  one  day  in  haste  to 
catch  a  train,  I  stumbled  over  a  sharp  rock  and  tore  my 
nether  garment  almost  from  the  belt  to  the  hem.  The 
devastation  seemed  too  serious  for  repair  and  to  travel 
to  Boston  in  that  predicament  was  unthinkable ;  and  yet 
my  exchequer  was  too  low  to  pay  my  fare  to  Boston  in- 
cluding a  sleeper,  and  also  to  purchase  a  new  garment. 
How  was  the  situation  to  be  met? 

Happily,  Dr.  Simpson  had  preceded  me  to  the  train, 
and  looking  him  up  in  a  forward  car  where  he  was  im- 
mersed in  Bible  and  note-book,  I  presented  myself  to  his 
quizzical  gaze. 

He  made  me  a  loan,  the  widow's  mite  if  I  remember, 
but  which  alas !  was  rendered  useless  by  the  event.  For 
on  arriving  at  New  York,  I  became  aware  for  the  first 
time  that  it  was  a  legal  holiday,  Washington's  birthday, 
and  that  no  stores  were  open,  not  even  a  tailor's  shop. 

What  an  abasing  walk  I  had  that  day,  and  how  sorely 
tried  my  patriotism  was,  as  I  meandered  through  Twenty- 
third  Street  from  the  ferry  to  Broadway,  and  then  north, 
partly  on  Broadway  and  partly  on  Fourth  Avenue,  to 
the  Grand  Central  Station,  looking  for  a  hospitable  bushel- 
man;  and  not  until  the  very  end  of  the  journey  was  one 

The  curtain  falls  on  the  happening  there,  but  the  recital 
of  it  afterwards  to  Dr.  Simpson  drew  me  to  him  in  a 
new  way  as  I  realized  that  his  gravity  was  the  kind  that 
could  stand  the  test  of  humor. 

Doubtless  it  is  too  early  to  predict  which  of  the  facets 
of  Dr.  Simpson's  life  will  project  its  gleam  farthest  into 

262  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

the  coming  years,  but  it  is  natural  to  suppose  that  it  may 
be  his  witness  to  Divine  healing. 

The  thrilling  story  of  his  own  healing  has  never  lost 
its  effect  upon  me  since  the  time  I  first  heard  it,  and  the 
many  instances  coming  to  me  of  his  exercise  of  the  gift 
of  the  prayer  of  faith  in  the  healing  of  others  have  been 
a  source  of  praise  and  wonder. 

This  is  not  to  say  that  I  was  ever  able  to  see  quite  eye 
to  eye  with  him  in  his  exposition  of  the  doctrine;  but  this 
circumstance  is  mentioned  merely  because  it  gives  its  own 
value  to  my  testimony  as  to  the  reasonableness  with  which 
he  presented  his  views  upon  it  to  other  people. 

I  say  nothing  now  of  that  which  he  has  written  on 
the  subject,  which  speaks  for  itself,  but  only  of  that 
which  I  have  seen  in  or  heard  from  him  as  together  we 
have  sat  by  the  side  of  an  ailing  or  a  dying  saint. 

Perhaps  the  saint  was  one  who  was  unable  to  grasp 
the  higher  round  of  faith's  ladder  which  he  himself  had 
scaled,  but  this  did  not  seduce  him  into  speaking  dis- 
paragingly of  human  physicians  in  such  a  case  nor  in 
making  light  of  medicines.  He  recognized  the  place  of 
medical  science  in  the  economy  of  things,  and  regarded 
it  as  un-ChristHke  to  denounce  or  oppose  it  in  its  true 
place.  But  patiently,  lucidly,  sympathetically  he  set  forth 
the  Bible  teaching  about  heaHng  as  he  understood  it, 
making  any  mention  of  himself  with  modesty,  and  then  in 
prayer  going  only  as  far  as  the  inquirer  could  go  even 
if  a  disappointing  pause  was  made  before  the  end. 

His  attitude  seemed  to  be  that  expressed  in  his  simple 
verse,  written  without  satire,  I  feel  sure : 

"God   has    His    best    things    for    the    few 
Who  dare  to  stand  the  test; 

THE  SANENESS  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON      263 

He  has  a  second  choice  for  those 
Who  will  not  have  the  best." 

Whether  you  agreed  with  him  or  not,  somehow  you  felt 
that  he  dealt  in  that  "sound  speech  that  can  not  be  con- 
demned" (Titus  2  :8),  the  understatement  which  strength- 
ens argument. 

Some  time  since  there  was  placed  in  my  hands  for  re- 
view a  book  entitled,  "Counterfeit  Miracles,"  written  by 
an  American  theologian  of  distinction,  who  devoted  a 
chapter  of  some  forty  pages  to  "Faith-Healing."  He 
paid  his  respects  to  several  witnesses  thereto,  including 
three  or  four  of  my  personal  friends  now  departed  to  be 
with  their  Lord,  but  when  he  came  to  the  subject  of  this 
chapter  he  simply  said : 

"Perhaps  Dr.  A.  B.  Simpson,  of  New  York,  who  has 
been  since  1887  the  president  of  The  Christian  and  Mis- 
sionary Alliance,  founded  in  that  year  at  Old  Orchard, 
Maine,  has  been  blamelessly  in  the  public  eye  as  a  healer 
of  the  sick  through  faith  for  as  long  a  period  as  any  of 
our  recent  American  healers.  The  fame  of  others  has 
been,  if  more  splendid,  at  the  same  time  less  pure  and 
less  lasting." 

"Blamelessly"  and  "pure"  were  particularly  well  chosen. 

The  word  for  which  I  apologized  in  my  title  was  early 
suggested  to  me  as  descriptive  of  Dr.  Simspon  when, 
years  ago,  I  commenced  reading  after  him,  especially 
in  the  "Answers  to  Questions"  column  of  The  Alliance 
Weekly  or  its  predecessor.  If  ever  one  needed  the  Spirit 
"of  power,  and  of  love  and  of  a  sound  mind"  (2  Tim. 
1:7),  it  is  when  he  undertakes  the  editorship  of  such  a 
department  in  a  religious  journal, 

"What  is  the  'Abomination  of  Desolation'?"     "Was 

264  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Adam  created  with  sinful  tendencies?'  "Please  tell  me 
what  Bahaism  is."  "How  does  Christian  Science  differ 
from  Divine  healing?"  "Will  infants  be  saved?"  "Is 
the  Church  the  body  or  the  bride  of  Christ?"  "Should 
Christians  vote?"  "May  a  Christian  join  a  lodge?"  "Why 
did  God  punish  Pharaoh  when  he  hardened  his  heart?" 
"Do  you  teach  eradication  ?"  "Do  you  believe  in  conscious 
and  eternal  punishment?"  "Please  explain  what  is  meant 
by  'Baptized  for  the  dead'."  "Please  explain  I  Peter 
3:19  and  Heb.  6:4-6."  "Give  us  your  opinion  of 
women  preaching."  "Will  the  Church  pass  through  the 
tribulation?"  "How  shall  I  answer  a  Seventh  Day  Ad- 
ventist?"    "Is  war  justifiable?" 

I  am  bound  to  say  that  so  far  as  I  am  able  to  judge, 
Dr.  Simpson  passed  this  test  triumphantly,  and  pur- 
chased for  himself  "a  good  degree  and  great  boldness  in 
the  faith"  (I  Tim.  3:13). 

May  I  enlarge  upon  that  last-named  question  about 

Dr.  Simpson  was  a  premillenialist,  and  when  the  United 
States  went  to  war  with  Germany,  New  Theology  preach- 
ers thought  they  saw  an  opportunity  to  discredit  such, 
stating  that  they  were  pacifists,  who  were  weakening  the 
Government's  hands. 

Of  course  this  was  not  true.  Postmillennialism  is  es- 
sentially pacifism  because  it  claims  that  the  world  is 
growing  better  all  the  while,  the  corollary  of  which  is 
that  military  armaments  are  to  be  discouraged.  The 
writer  pointed  this  out  in  a  magazine  article,  in  the  course 
of  which  he  said  that  the  earliest  and  ablest  arguments 
from  the  Christian  standpoint  in  defense  of  our  Gov- 
ernment's action  which  he  had  heard,  had  come  from 

THE  SANENESS  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON      265 

A.  B.  Simpson  was  one  of  these.  The  title  of  his  ser- 
mon is  not  recalled,  but  it  is  remembered  with  what  mar- 
tial eloquence  he  described  Abram's  battle  against  the 
confederate  kings,  and  how  it  was  approved  in  the  court 
of  heaven  by  the  fact  that  he  received  the  blessing  of 
Melchizedek,  the  priest  of  the  Most  High  God. 

As  I  read  it,  I  thought  of  Mary  Queen  of  Scots,  who 
feared  John  Knox's  prayers  more  than  an  army  of  10,000 
men,  and  I  believed  it  no  hyperbole  to  say  that  the  Kaiser 
might  have  been  similarly  disturbed  had  he  heard  the 
clarion  note  of  this  man  of  God  which  was  sounded  up 
and  down  our  land  and  around  the  world. 

Some  were  giving  forth  a  very  uncertain  sound  about 
that  time,  and  others  were  clearly  unpatriotic  and  wrong, 
but  when  he  spoke  with  the  authority  of  the  Bible  he 
knew  so  well  and  the  strong  influence  of  a  life  hid  with 
Christ  in  God,  it  brought  boldness  and  steadiness  to  many. 
Had  he  coveted  a  decoration  for  his  breast  it  was  as  truly 
merited  as  in  the  case  of  others  whose  patriotism  had 
taken  a  different  form. 

And  speaking  of  patriotism  and  the  Christian  saneness 
of  which  it  is  sometimes  an  exhibition,  the  last  word  that 
I  dare  claim  space  to  write  concerns  that  little  book  of 
Dr.  Simpson,  The  Old  Faith  and  the  New  Gospels,  a 
classic  of  its  kind,  which  should  never  be  out  of  print, 
and  which  this  generation  at  least  should  not  allow  to  be 
forgotten.  Whether  it  be  the  chapter  on  Evolution  or 
Creation,  or  that  on  Higher  Criticism  and  the  Authority 
of  the  Bible,  or  that  on  Socialism  and  the  Kingdom  and 
Coming  of  Christ,  it  is  patriotism  of  a  high  order  and 
saneness  that  the  whole  world  needs. 

Our  accomplished  President  has  recently  coined  a  new 
phrase  about  the  spiritual  leadership  of  the  world.     His 

266  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

meaning  may  require  some  clarifying  for  the  mind  of 
the  average  poHtician,  but  the  spiritual  leadership  of  the 
world  which  The  Old  Faith  and  the  Nezv  Gospels  advo- 
cates is  that  which  shall  remain  when  the  democracies  of 
the  present  shall  have  forever  run  their  course.  He  who 
reads  it  with  enlightenment  of  mind  and  heart  to  believe 
it,  will  set  his  seal  to  the  testimony  of  this  witness  that 
A.  B.  Simpson  was  a  man  "of  honest  report,  full  of  the 
Holy  Ghost  and  wisdom." 



By  Frederic  H.  Senft 

IT  was  my  privilege  to  know  our  beloved  brother,  Rev. 
A,  B.  Simpson,  for  over  thirty  years.  His  name  and 
one  of  his  tracts  along  with  other  full  Gospel  literature 
were  sent  to  me  by  a  friend  shortly  after  graduating 
from  college.  The  Fourfold  Gospel  appealed  to  me  at 
once.  God  led  me  to  see  these  truths  in  His  Word,  and 
I  found  that  his  statement  of  doctrine  agreed  with  my 

Returning  from  the  South,  I  came  to  New  York  and 
visited  his  work.  I  had  an  interview  with  him,  and  heard 
him  speak  the  first  time  in  the  Friday  meeting,  then  held 
in  a  hall  while  the  present  Gospel  Tabernacle  was  being 
built.  At  this  meeting  I  first  witnessed  and  participated 
in  an  anointing  service,  which  was  solemn  and  uplifting. 
Mr.  Simpson  spoke  from  the  text:  "If  God  be  for  us, 
who  can  be  against  us?"  (Rom.  8:31). 

I  was  much  impressed  by  Mr.  Simpson's  serene,  spirit- 
ual bearing,  and  my  heart  was  drawn  to  him  and  to  the 
testimony  and  work  he  represented.  It  was  not  through 
any  persuasion  on  his  part,  but  from  settled  conviction 
that  I  cast  in  my  lot  with  this  chosen  people  and  work. 

I  sat  under  his  teaching  for  a  few  months  in  what  was 
then  called  The  New  York  Missionary  Training  College. 
My  wife,  some  three  years  before  I  met  her,  had  the  same 
privilege.    She  was  baptized  by  Mr.  Simpson  in  Lake  Erie, 

268  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

at  which  time  he  remarked,  "Why,  Ruth,  the  Spirit  of 
Christ  is  so  real  that  He  bathes  us  and  seems  as  oil  poured 
on  the  waters."  He  officiated  at  our  marriage.  So,  as 
children  in  the  Full  Gospel  and  co-laborers,  we  have  come 
in  close  fellowship  with  him  for  a  score  and  a  half  years 
and  have  shared  in  the  blessed  benefits  of  his  ripe  expe- 
rience, courtesy,  and  counsel. 

Men  and  means  have  been  put  at  his  disposal  in  answer 
to  prayer.  True,  there  have  been  all  along  the  way  per- 
sons attracted  to  the  man,  his  message  and  leadership,  who 
did  not  count  the  cost,  and  have  dropped  out  for  various 
reasons.  This  has  been  the  record  of  other  spiritual 
movements.  A  great  convention  with  a  magnificent  offer- 
ing for  missions,  has  again  and  again  attracted  the  on- 
looker, who  has  been  caught  in  the  popular  wave  and 
swept  into  the  movement ;  but  when  the  waters  subsided, 
with  the  reproach  of  the  Cross  and  the  patient  plodding 
without  applause  in  view,  some  have  fallen  out  of  the 

The  best,  the  sweetest,  and  indeed  all  the  resources  of 
his  many-sided  life  were  always  held  at  the  disposal  of 
His  Master.    It  was  surely  true  of  him: 

"Were  the  whole  realm  of  nature  mine, 

That  were  a  present  far  too  small; 
Love  so  amazing,  so  divine, 
Demands  my  soul,  my  life,  my  all." 

And  as  he,  by  the  grace  of  God,  followed  faithfully  and 
lived  out  the  reaHty  of  such  a  complete  consecration,  God 
in  His  infinite  love  and  unfailing  faithfulness  did  the  rest. 
He  was  controlled  by  a  lofty  purpose  and  high  ideals ; 
his  whole  being  seemed  to  shun  the  selfish  and  the  sordid. 
He  ever  sought  to  see  and  seize  God's  highest  choice  in 

THE  MAN  AS  I  KNEW  HIM  269 

all  his  relationships  with  God  and  his  brethren,  and  to 
find  and  fill  the  perfect  will  of  his  Master.  He  practised 
his  own  exhortations  to  others:  "It  is  a  blessed  thing  to 
have  our  life  laid  out  and  our  Christian  work  adjusted 
to  God's  plan.  Much  spiritual  force  is  expended  in  waste 
effort  and  scattered  in  indefinite  and  inconstant  attempts 
at  doing  good."  It  was  his  highest  ambition  and  chiefest 
delight  to  catch  the  thought  of  God,  and  obediently, 
loyally,  and  lovingly  to  fulfill  it.  He  had  learned  the 
necessity  of  lingering  in  the  mount  with  God  to  procure 
His  pattern,  and  then  go  down  to  the  hosts  of  the  Lord 
with  shining  face  and  divine  dignity  and  serenity  to  carry 
it  out  in  deeds  of  love  and  abiding  fruit.  He  found  that 
hours  of  secluded  meditation  and  holy  exaltation  v/ere 
necessary  for  hours  of  patient  plodding  and  the  faithful 
performance  of  his  Father's  will  and  work. 

There  was  apparently  no  self-consciousness  in  Dr. 
Simpson,  as  one  came  in  contact  with  him  in  conversation 
or  heard  him  in  public  address.  His  face,  manners,  and 
spirit,  in  the  pulpit  or  in  private,  showed  self-effacement 
to  a  degree  that  is  rare.  About  twenty  years  ago,  one 
who  had  become  interested  in  our  work  in  Philadelphia, 
after  hearing  him  preach,  remarked :  "One  does  not  see 
Dr.  Simpson  but  the  Christ  whom  he  preaches  and  ex- 
emplifies ;  he  is  so  completely  lost  in  Christ  and  His  mes- 
sage that  he  seems  to  be  unconscious  of  himself  and 
others."  His  was  a  crucified  life.  "For  me  to  live  is 
Christ,"  was  his  theme  and  the  expression  of  his  long  life 
and  labor.  "Himself,"  the  title  of  his  most  sought-after 
tract,  was  the  keynote  of  his  message. 

Intelligent  and  highly  cultured  he  was,  yet  there  was 
no  attempt  to  boast  of  his  accomplishments  or  to  make 
an  impression  upon  those  with  whom  he  mingled  or  to 

270  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

whom  he  ministered.  He  held  every  God-given  gift  as 
a  sacred  trust  to  be  used  in  deep  humility  as  well  as  in 
unswerving  fidelity.  Wesley's  memorable  motto  could  be 
applied  to  him:  "Simplify  religion  and  every  part  of 

Again,  in  the  ministry  of  the  printed  page,  A.  B.  Simp- 
son's plan  was  similar  to  John  Wesley's,  namely,  "Cheaper, 
shorter,  plainer  books."  Amid  Wesley's  other  abundant 
labors  it  is  said  that  "he  found  time  to  keep  up  a  constant 
supply  of  pamphlets,  tracts,  and  sermons,  carried  by  his 
preachers  to  the  remotest  parts  of  the  country,  beside  pro- 
viding them  with  a  large  library,  written  or  edited  by 
himself."  Surely  a  great  heritage  of  most  helpful  lit- 
erature has  also  been  left  for  those  who  follow  our  be- 
loved leader,  and  for  the  whole  Church  of  Christ, 

Dr.  Simpson  was  a  good  listener.  This  added  much  to 
his  companionableness  and  to  the  interest  with  which 
others  listened  to  him.  It  is  difficult  to  talk  with  some 
people — one  feels  ill  at  ease  because  of  their  evident 
eagerness  to  occupy  all  the  time.  Hear  his  own  words 
on  this  point:  "How  unseemly  it  would  be  for  us  in  the 
presence  of  an  earthly  superior  to  monopolize  all  the  con- 
versation. The  best  conversationaHst  is  the  best  listener." 
He  had  a  rare  gift  of  speech,  using  well-chosen  words 
that  flowed  with  fascinating  freedom  from  his  lips.  He 
was  at  times  witty,  but  with  a  high  order  of  humor, 
having  a  noble  purpose  in  view.  He  could  tell  a  story 
with  rare  skill  and  abiding  effect,  especially  in  his  public 
messages  and  in  his  printed  sermons  and  books.  Nothing 
was  lacking  in  the  aptness  of  his  illustrations  and  the 
effectiveness  of  the  application.  Certain  of  his  illustra- 
tions and  their  pertinent  use  are  still  remembered  though 
given  a  score  or  more  of  years  ago. 

THE  MAN  AS  I  KNEW  HIM  271 

Brother  Simpson  possessed  unusual  qualities  both  of 
heart  and  mind,  rarely  found  so  highly  developed  in  the 
same  individual.  Although  he  was  gifted  with  more  than 
ordinary  powers,  yet  he  exhibited  beautiful  humility,  as 
well  as  practical  wisdom  in  counselling  with  his  brethren 
in  the  work,  and  profiting  by  the  judgment  even  of  those 
much  younger  than  himself.  He  had  an  inspiring  per- 
sonality, a  keen  knowledge  of  men,  a  rare  combination 
of  dignity  and  simplicity,  and  a  gentle  spirit  and  manner. 

One  of  the  marked  inwrought  gifts  of  the  Spirit  was 
his  winsome  way  of  presenting  truth  and  giving  personal 
testimony.  Many  have  gone  to  hear  him  preach  who 
were  prejudiced,  having  preconceived  and  distorted 
opinions  regarding  the  man  and  his  message.  But  his 
sweetness  of  spirit,  Scriptural  argument,  and  convincing 
logic  disarmed  and  won  the  biased  hearer,  often  making 
him  a  staunch  friend  and  supporter.  True,  there  were 
extremists  who,  at  times,  came  to  his  meetings,  or  sought 
a  private  interview  with  him — those  who  had  some  fad 
or  fancy  to  present.  But  with  what  rare  tact  and  ten- 
derness he  dealt  with  such  persons !  Thus  he  saved  a 
public  ministry  of  exceptional  power  and  blessing  from 
being  side-tracked  into  discussion  and  division.  Firmness 
mingled  with  gentleness  and  true  greatness  often  won  the 
day  for  truth  and  righteousness. 

He  had  a  remarkable  range  of  practical  knowledge  and 
his  answers  to  questions  were  always  an  interesting  feat- 
ure in  the  conventions.  The  "Question  Box"  and  the 
question  hour  were  occasions  of  rare  privilege  to  the 
eager  congregations.  Some  would  take  advantage  of  this 
to  ask  "catch  questions"  or  to  air  some  idiosyncrasy. 
These  were  usually  answered  or  dismissed  in  a  sentence, 
giving  time  for  the  sincere  seekers  after  Hght.     Some  of 

272  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

these  questions  and  answers  have  been  preserved,  as  In- 
quiries and  Answers  Concerning  Divine  Healing,  a  pam- 
phlet which  has  been  of  inestimable  help  to  many  honest 

Another  gift  of  God's  grace  bestowed  upon  our  beloved 
brother  was  the  perfect  ease  with  which  he  entered  into 
the  condition  and  confidence  of  one  seeking  counsel  or 
spiritual  help.  His  approachable  attitude  and  the  broth- 
erly atmosphere  v/hich  he  radiated  made  the  seeker  after 
help  to  feel  free  in  his  presence.  A  well-known  Christian 
worker  said  of  him :  "He  was  the  most  gracious  man  I 
ever  met."  His  deep  piety  did  not  produce  awe  and 
uneasiness,  but  showed  itself  in  sweet  simplicity.  His 
intuitive  and  acquired  knowledge  of  men,  their  problems, 
heart  yearnings,  and  physical  needs,  enabled  him  to  probe 
the  vital  point,  and  through  words  of  counsel,  and  pre- 
vailing prayer,  to  bring  down  heaven's  help,  and  heahng. 
He  did  not  spare  himself  at  all;  he  lived  for  others  with- 
out a  trace  of  self-interest. 

In  his  silence  under  criticism  and  persecution  one  could 
not  fail  to  see  in  him  the  marks  of  highest  manhood,  wise 
method,  and  rare  spirituaHty.  He  had  the  spirit  of  the 
One  "Who  opened  not  his  mouth."  He  met  opposition, 
misrepresentation,  and  persecution  of  all  sorts  and  de- 
grees, especially  in  the  earlier  years  of  his  career  when 
he  separated  from  his  church  and  former  friends  and 
became  an  exponent  of  the  Fourfold  Gospel.  But  to  all 
assailants  he  "answered  not  a  word."  Like  Nehemiah  he 
was  doing  a  great  work,  and  could  not  come  down  to 
answer  the  railings  of  the  wary,  world-inspired  troublers 
— usually  those  of  the  Pharasaic  element  of  the  professed 
Church.  It  seemed  his  devotion  increased  as  difficulties 
and  persecutions  pressed  him  closer  to  the  bosom  of  his 

THE  MAN  AS  I  KNEW  HIM  273 

Master  who,  by  His  power,  turned  the  curse  into  a 

The  ceaseless  round  of  duties  left  him  little  time  for 
rest  and  recreation.  For  thirty-five  years  he  scarcely 
knew  the  meaning  of  a  holiday.  His  capacity  for  con- 
tinuous hard  work  was  remarkable.  The  summer  season, 
when  ministers  usually  have  a  vacation,  was  his  busiest 
time — going  from  one  great  convention  to  another  for 
the  week-end,  then  back  to  New  York  to  catch  up  with 
accumulated  work. 

However,  to  rest  his  mind  and  refresh  his  body,  he 
diverted  himself  at  times  in  the  evenings  by  working  in 
the  garden  or  by  turning  to  mechanical  work,  making 
fine  models  for  homes  at  Nyack  Heights,  and  other  de- 
vices. He  had  an  inventive  and  mechanical  mind.  As 
a  boy  he  knew  how  to  plow  and  do  other  service  on  the 
farm.  He  was  fond  of  astronomy,  and  had  a  small  ob- 
servatory near  his  home  where  with  a  large  telescope  he 
taught  the  students  the  wonders  of  the  heavens.  These 
diversions  from  the  crowded  hours  in  his  New  York 
office,  a  very  humble  place  on  noisy  Eighth  Avenue, 
served  as  a  tonic  for  his  arduous  labors  which  touched 
the  ends  of  the  earth. 

As  was  said  of  McCheyne,  he  excelled  in  prayer.  Who 
can  forget  the  ardent  prayers  coming  from  the  depths  of 
dear  Dr.  Simpson's  soul  and  reaching  to  the  throne  of  God, 
bringing  down  untold  blessing  upon  innumerable  lives ! 
The  months  of  his  infirmity  were  filled  with  prayer  day 
and  night.  It  was  my  privilege  to  stay  with  him  for 
several  nights  during  the  first  part  of  his  break-down 
when  he  needed  prayerful  support  in  the  night  seasons. 
How  the  spirit  of  ''prayer  and  supplication  with  thanks- 
giving" would  be  poured  out,  not  for  himself  so  much 

274  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

as  for  others !  Then  God  would  come  in  comforting  bless- 
ing and  soon  he  would  sleep  as  a  child  on  its  mother's 
bosom.  This  was  the  choicest  privilege  of  my  thirty  years' 
association  with  him. 

Upon  calling  to  see  him  in  his  room  at  headquarters, 
New  York,  a  few  months  before  he  passed  away,  I  found 
him  in  bed,  weak  in  body  but  alert  in  mind.  Sheets  of 
paper  were  about  him  on  the  bed.  He  had  been  jotting 
down  thoughts,  though  scarcely  able  to  write.  During 
these  months  he  led  several  of  the  midweek  meet- 
ings in  the  Tabernacle.  Coming  from  one  of  the  services, 
a  shade  of  regret  came  over  him,  and  he  seemed  much 
burdened  as  he  said  to  Rev.  E.  B.  Fitch,  the  assistant 
pastor,  "1  fear  that  sufficient  preparation  was  not  made 
for  that  message."  His  state  of  body  and  mind,  no 
doubt,  had  much  to  do  with  this  remark ;  but  it  indicated 
his  habit  of  painstaking  care  and  prayer  in  preparing  for 
his  public  work.  He  often  told  me  while  in  meetings 
together  and  in  our  home,  'T  must  wait  on  God  for  a 
fresh  message  for  this  service."  Dr.  Henry  C.  McBride, 
an  old  friend  and  early  helper  in  the  work,  said  to  me 
once,  after  hearing  him  preach :  "In  all  these  many  years, 
I  have  never  heard  Dr.  Simpson  repeat  a  sermon — always 
something  fresh,  fragrant,  and  satisfying." 

Dr.  Simpson  was  a  forceful  and  fascinating  preacher. 
His  expositions  of  Scripture  were  profound  yet  simple. 
His  whole  soul  was  poured  into  his  message ;  true  elo- 
quence flowed  from  his  heart  and  lips,  carrying  his 
hearers  with  him  in  unbroken  and  intense  interest  for  an 
hour  or  more  as  he  preached  the  glorious  Gospel.  He 
probably  had  no  superior  in  missionary  appeal.  There 
was  a  manifest  spirit  of  sweetness  and  strength  in  his 
messages,  a  charm  of  expression,  clear  and  convincing 

THE  MAN  AS  I  KNEW  HIM  275 

argument,  and  powerful  application  of  the  truth  that  has 
transformed  lives  and  embued  them  with  the  spirit  of 
the  Christ  of  Calvary. 

At  a  large  summer  convention,  Dr.  Simpson  preached 
one  of  his  characteristic  sermons,  sweeping  through  the 
Scriptures,  illustrating  and  enforcing  his  theme  with 
powerful  inspiration  and  conviction.  Sitting  with  one 
of  our  oldest  and  ablest  workers,  one  thought  in  common 
was  expressed :  "Well,  there  seems  to  be  nothing  left  for 
any  one  to  say  on  that  subject ;  the  whole  ground  has  been 
covered;"  and  we  felt  as  if  it  was  hardly  worth  while 
for  any  one  to  attempt  to  follow  on  any  subject.  One 
of  the  leading  ministers  of  Philadelphia,  after  hearing 
Mr.  Simpson  preach  at  our  Annual  Convention,  which 
was  held  in  his  church,  remarked :  "We  will  not  hear 
another  such  sermon  until  Dr.  Simpson  returns  to  this 

Notwithstanding  his  busy  life,  he  took  time  for  careful 
preparation  for  his  public  messages.  They  were  steeped 
in  prayer.  He  says  in  his  Testimony,  "I  have  found 
the  same  divine  help  for  my  mind  and  brain  as  for  my 
body.  Having  much  writing  and  speaking  to  do,  I  have 
given  my  pen  and  my  tongue  to  Christ  to  possess  and  use, 
and  He  has  so  helped  me  that  my  literary  work  has  never 
been  a  labor.  He  has  enabled  me  to  think  much  more 
rapidly  and  to  accomplish  much  more  work  and  with 
greater  facility  than  ever  before.  It  is  very  simple  and 
humble  work,  but  such  as  it  is,  it  is  all  through  Him,  and, 
I  trust,  for  Him  only.    To  Him  be  all  the  praise." 


"So  when  a  great  man  dies, 

For  years  beyond  our  ken, 
The  light  he  leaves  behind  him  lies 
Upon  the  paths  of  men." 

WHEN  General  Allenby  captured  Jerusalem  in  De- 
cember, 191 7,  Dr.  Simpson  was  in  Chicago  on  a 
convention  tour.  He  went  immediately  to  his  room,  over- 
come with  emotion,  and  on  his  knees  praised  God  for 
an  hour.  He  had  been  watching  the  Jewish  clock  for 
forty  years,  and  now  its  warning  chime  announced  that 
the  great  hour  of  the  redeemed  was  at  hand.  He  gave 
a  powerful  address  on  "The  Capture  of  Jerusalem"  in 
Moody  Tabernacle,  which  he  repeated  in  his  own  pulpit 
on  his  return  to  New  York. 

In  the  following  January  he  was  announced  as  one  of 
the  chief  speakers  at  a  Jewish  Mission  Conference  in 
Chicago,  but  after  the  conference  had  commenced  he 
wired  his  life-long  friend,  Mrs.  T.  C.  Rounds,  Superin- 
tendent of  the  Chicago  Hebrew  Mission,  who  was  secre- 
tary of  the  convention,  expressing  his  regrets  that  he 
found  himself  unable  to  attend.  It  was  a  great  disap- 
pointment, for  every  one  knew  that  a  message  for  the 
hour  was  burning  in  his  heart. 

During  the  rest  of  the  winter  he  engaged  in  very  little 
public  ministry,  and  most  of  his  other  duties  were  laid 
aside.  He  submitted  to  urgent  solicitation  and,  accom- 
panied by  Mrs.   Simpson,  spent  a  few  weeks  with  his 

A.  B.  Simpson  During  Last  Visit  to  England. 


friends  of  other  days  at  Clifton  Springs,  New  York.  He 
did  not,  as  some  have  suggested,  take  medical  treatment. 
Dr.  Sanders  of  the  Sanitarium  was  an  old  friend  and 
a  former  attendant  at  the  Tabernacle,  and  thoroughly 
understood  Dr.  Simpson's  position. 

When  the  Annual  Council  of  The  Christian  and  Mis- 
sionary Alliance  assembled  at  Nyack  in  May,  1918,  Dr. 
Simpson  called  upon  Mr.  Ulysses  Lewis,  Vice-President 
of  the  Society  to  preside,  though  he  himself  attended  most 
of  the  sessions.  During  this  Council,  as  stated  in  an 
earlier  chapter,  he  committed  his  business  affairs  to  his 
brethren  for  settlement.  This  was  not  only  a  great  per- 
sonal reHef  to  him  but  also  proved  that  he  never  had 
any  desire  to  build  up  an  estate  for  his  personal  or  family 
interest,  and  enabled  one  of  the  speakers  at  the  Memorial 
Service  to  make  the  public  announcement  that  Dr.  Simp- 
son left  no  legacy  but  the  will  and  work  of  God — the 
richest  heritage  ever  bequeathed  to  family  or  friends. 

Dr.  Simpson  had  hved,  as  he  tells  us  in  the  story  of 
his  life  crisis,  a  lonely  life.  One  of  the  secrets  of  his 
success  was  that  he  had  taken  his  difficulties  directly  to 
the  Lord,  and  even  his  immediate  family  knew  little  of 
the  burdens  which  he  bore  from  day  to  day.  He  attempted 
to  continue  to  meet  the  pressure  that  was  upon  him  dur- 
ing the  early  months  of  his  physical  decline  as  he  had 
always  done.  The  great  adversary,  against  whose  king- 
dom he  had  so  valiantly  warred,  attacked  him  in  his  weak- 
ness and  succeeded  in  casting  a  cloud  over  his  spirit. 

Even  yet  he  did  not  call  his  brethren  to  his  spiritual 
help  until  one  of  them,  a  short  time  after  the  Council, 
asked  for  the  privilege  of  staying  with  him  at  night,  at 
which  time  the  pressure  was  most  severe.  For  several 
weeks  one  or  other  of  the  brethren  enjoyed  what  they 

2/8  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

will  ever  regard  as  the  unspeakable  privilege  of  this  inti- 
mate fellowship.  He  would  kneel  at  his  bedside  with 
the  one  who  was  with  him  and  pour  out  his  heart  unto 
the  Lord.  After  retiring  they  would  lie  in  sweet  com- 
munion, quoting  the  great  promises  of  Scripture  and  softly- 
singing  the  hymns  which  have  been  endeared  to  the 
Church,  or  the  yet  richer  Psalms  of  David  in  the  old  Scot- 
tish metircal  version,  which  he,  and  at  least  some  of  these 
friends,  had  sung  in  childhood.  When  the  brother  would 
say,  "Dr.  Simpson,  you  must  sleep  now,"  he  would  say, 
"Yes,  yes,  but  we  must  have  another  word  of  prayer." 
By  this  time  that  rich  consciousness  of  the  indwelling 
Christ,  in  which  for  forty  years  he  had  never  failed  to 
compose  himself  for  sleep,  had  returned  in  some  measure 
to  him,  and  presently  he  would  be  sleeping  as  a  child. 
When  he  awakened  in  the  morning,  addressing  the  one 
beside  him  with  the  affectionate  familiarity  of  a  spiritual 
father,  he  would  express  the  hope  that  he  had  not  dis- 
turbed him.  Again  in  "psalms  and  hymns  and  spiritual 
songs"  the  day  would  be  begun,  till  the  brother  left  for 
his  daily  duty.    So  several  weeks  were  passed. 

One  day  two  of  the  brethren,  who  had  been  greatly 
stirred  by  the  Holy  Spirit  for  his  complete  deliverance, 
bowed  with  him  in  his  library.  They  prayed  a  prayer 
into  which  he  earnestly  sought  to  enter  with  a  real  Amen. 
The  brethren  knew,  as  did  Dr.  Simpson,  that  they 
wrestled  "not  against  flesh  and  blood,  but  against  princi- 
palities, against  powers,  against  the  rulers  of  the  dark- 
ness of  this  world,  against  wicked  spirits  in  heavenly 
places."  Presently  they  knew  that  victory  had  been  given, 
but  they  longed  and  hoped  that  it  also  might  mean  perfect 
physical  deliverance.  Before  they  rose  from  their  knees 
he  said,  "Boys,  I  do  not  seem  to  be  able  to  take  quite  all 


that  you  have  asked.  You  seem  to  have  outstripped  me — 
but  Jesus  is  so  real" ;  and  he  began  to  talk  to  his  Lord 
as  only  a  man  who  has  known  the  intimate  love-life  of  the 
Man  in  the  Glory  can  do. 

From  that  hour  no  one  ever  heard  Dr.  Simpson  speak 
of  the  Enemy,  and  to  the  last  those  who  met  him  in  the 
Tabernacle  or  at  the  headquarters  in  New  York,  or  at 
Old  Orchard,  where  he  went  soon  afterward,  or  later  in 
his  own  home  and  bedchamber,  were  conscious  of  even 
a  richer  aroma  of  Christ  than  that  sweet  fragrance  which 
for  so  many  years  had  surrounded  him. 

His  marvelous  ministry  of  prayer  was  revivified.  His 
friend.  Rev.  W.  T.  MacArthur,  who  a  short  time  before 
had  spent  two  or  three  days  with  him,  returned  un- 
heralded. Dr.  Simpson  met  him  at  the  door  and  said, 
"Well,  Mac,  you  have  come  to  pray  for  me  again."  "No, 
Brother  Simpson,  I  have  come  to  ask  you  to  pray  for 
me."  "That  is  a  very  gracious  way  of  putting  it,"  he 
replied.  "Not  at  all;  it  is  the  truth.  I  have  carried  my 
old  sermon  barrel  till  I  am  sick  of  it.  I  must  have  a  fresh 
anointing."  "Oh,  then,  if  that  is  so,"  said  Dr.  Simposn, 
"we  will  go  right  into  my  study."  That  night  a  series  of 
messages  were  born  in  the  preacher's  soul,  and  those  who 
heard  him  that  summer  knew  that  fresh  oil  had  been 
poured  upon  him. 

Nor  was  Mr.  MacArthur  the  only  one  who  found  his 
way  to  this  man  of  God  for  just  such  an  anointing.  One 
after  another  of  the  brethren  met  him  quietly  and  alone 
with  the  same  result.  He  seemed  to  be  pouring  out  upon 
these  disciples  something  of  the  gift  which  had  so  en- 
riched his  own  ministry. 

Perhaps  the  most  memorable  of  these  occasions  was 
that  which  occurred  when  Paul  Rader  came  from  Chi- 

28o  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

cago  to  New  York  for  a  night  of  prayer  and  special  con- 
sultation with  the  Board  concerning  his  relation  to  the 
work.    We  will  let  Mr.  Rader  tell  the  story. 

"Never  will  I  forget  a  night  a  few  months  ago.  Dr. 
Simpson  was  occupying  a  room  at  headquarters  across 
the  hall  from  the  Board  meeting  which  he  was  unable 
to  attend.  At  the  close  of  the  meeting  I  went  into  his 
room  with  Brother  Senft  and  Brother  Lewis.  He  put 
out  his  arm,  and  we  knelt  to  pray^  Oh,  such  a  prayer! 
He  started  in  thanksgiving  for  the  early  days,  and  swept 
the  past  in  waves  of  praise  at  each  step ;  then  to  the  pres- 
ent; then  on  to  the  future — the  prophet  vision  was  mar- 
velous. We  were  all  with  upturned,  tear-stained  faces 
praising  God  together  with  him  as  by  faith  we  followed 
him  to  the  mountain  and  viewed  the  Promised  Land.  He 
was  so  sure  the  Alliance  was  born  in  the  heart  of  God. 
He  lay  there  in  a  burst  of  praise,  sure  that  God  could 
carry  it  forward.  He  knew  his  physical  life  was  closing. 
So,  reverently  he  lifted  his  hands  as  if  passing  the  work 
over  to  God  who  had  carried  it  all  these  days." 

Perhaps  Mr.  Rader  was  the  only  one  of  the  brethren 
who  dared  to  claim  a  double  portion  of  his  spirit.  Those 
of  us  who  saw  him  that  day  when  he  came  out  from  that 
prayer  scene  realized  that  in  his  inner  consciousness, 
whether  he  confessed  it  to  himself  or  not,  Paul  Rader 
knew  that  the  mantle  was  falling  upon  him.  All  the  way 
to  Nyack  he  would  answer  us  only  in  monosyllables ;  and 
when  he  stood  before  the  students  that  night,  the  natural 
man  which  had  dazzled  many  an  audience  had  disappeared, 
and  for  that  night  he  stood  in  brokenness,  quietly  uttering 
a  message  which  went  to  the  depths  of  many  a  heart, 
though  he  himself  felt  that  he  had  failed. 

During  the  winter  of  1918-1919  Dr.  Simpson  spent  ^ 


Mr.  and  Mrs.  Simpson. 


considerable  part  of  the  time  at  headquarters  in  New 
York,  and  attended  most  of  the  meetings  in  the  Taber- 
nacle, He  started  a  daily  prayer  meeting  and  once  ven- 
tured to  address  the  Friday  meeting.  He  attended  the 
great  Prophetic  Conference  in  Carnegie  Hall,  delighting 
in  the  fellowship  of  such  old  friends  as  Dr.  W.  B.  Riley, 
Dr.  James  M.  Gray,  Dr.  George  William  Carter,  Mr. 
Charles  G.  Trumbull,  and  many  others.  The  chairman 
of  one  of  the  meetings  called  upon  him  to  lead  in  prayer, 
and  though  the  audience  could  see  that  his  strength  had 
failed  greatly,  when  he  began  to  pour  out  his  heart  to 
God  a  hush  fell  over  the  vast  assembly,  and  men  realized 
anew  that  in  real  prayer 

"Heaven   comes    down   our   souls   to   greet 
While  glory  crowns  the  mercy  seat." 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Simpson  spent  the  early  springtime  on 
the  beautiful  Nyack  hillside  in  Dean  Turnbull's  residence 
near  the  Institute,  to  the  great  delight  of  the  students, 
and  later  returned  to  their  own  home  a  little  further  down 
the  hill. 

Just  before  the  Annual  Council  in  May  he  suffered  a 
slight  stroke  of  paralysis,  which  prevented  him  and  Mrs, 
Simpson  from  going  to  Toccoa  where  the  Council  was 
held  that  year;  but  he  recovered  so  rapidly  that  none  of 
the  brethren  was  detained  at  Nyack.  He  sent  this  tele- 
gram to  the  Council :  "Beloved  brethren  assembled  in 
Council  at  Toccoa :  I  regret  not  being  able  to  meet  you 
this  year  to  look  over  the  blessing  of  the  year  gone  by. 
Although  turmoil  and  strife  have  ruled  the  world,  God 
has  held  us  by  His  mighty  hand  from  the  many  trials 
and  evils  which  have  surrounded  us.  Blessing  has  been 
poured  out  upon  the  work  and  the  workers  as  they  have 

282  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

been  guided  by  Him.  We  praise  His  name  forever.  My 
prayer  is  that  God  shall  rule  this  blessed  work  which  was 
begun  in  sacrifice  and  consecration  to  Him,  for  the  spread- 
ing of  the  Gospel  into  all  lands.  I  hope  soon  to  meet  you 
all  again  as  He  will.  My  text  today  is  John  1 1 :4 — 'This 
sickness  is  not  unto  death,  but  for  the  glory  of  God.'  We 
are  with  you  in  spirit  if  not  in  body." 

When  the  delegates  returned,  they  found  Dr.  Simpson 
recovered  almost  to  his  condition  previous  to  the  stroke. 
He  passed  through  the  summer  with  little  change,  being 
about  his  own  home  and  graciously  receiving  the  few 
special  friends  who  were  privileged  to  call  upon  him. 
His  son,  Howard,  who  had  been  in  the  Canadian  Army 
in  France,  returned  and  spent  some  months  at  home,  but 
in  the  late  summer  accepted  a  business  position  in  Mon- 
treal. His  daughter,  Margaret,  came  frequently  from 
New  York  and  his  older  daughter,  Mabel,  also  came  from 
Hamilton  in  the  early  autumn  to  visit  him. 

During  these  months  Mrs.  Simpson  watched  over  her 
beloved  husband  with  the  utmost  devotion,  and  was 
wonderfully  sustained  from  day  to  day  by  God's  unfailing 
grace.  Dr.  Simpson  received  all  these  loving  ministries 
with  his  usual  graciousness  but  made  no  needless  demands 
on  those  who  cared  for  him. 

On  Tuesday,  October  28th,  he  spent  the  morning  on 
his  verandah  and  received  a  visit  from  Judge  Clark,  of 
Jamaica,  conversing  freely,  and  praying  fervently  for 
Rev.  and  Mrs.  George  H.  A.  McClare,  our  Alliance  mis- 
sionaries in  Jamaica,  and  for  the  missionaries  in  other 
fields,  who  were  always  in  his  mind.  After  the  Judge 
left  him  he  suddenly  lost  consciousness  and  was  carried 
to  his  room.  His  daughter  Margaret  and  a  little  group 
of  friends  watched  by  the  bedside  with  Mrs.  Simpson 


till  his  great  spirit  took  leave  of  his  worn  out  body  and 
returned  to  God  that  gave  it,  early  on  Wednesday  morn- 
ing, October  29th,  1919. 

Mr.  Howard  Simpson  and  Mrs.  Brennan  and  her  two 
daughters,  Marjorie  and  Katherine,  hastened  from  Can- 
ada, Mrs.  Gordon  Simpson,  a  widowed  daughter-in-law, 
and  her  daughters,  Misses  Joyce,  Ruth,  Wilhelmina  and 
Anna,  and  her  son  Albert  came  from  New  York  City,  and 
a  nephew,  Dr.  James  Simpson,  of  Ridgefield  Park,  N,  J., 
was  also  present. 

Mrs.  Simpson  received  hundreds  of  letters  and  tele- 
grams from  all  parts  of  the  world  and  many  messages 
of  sympathy  were  sent  officially  to  The  Christian  and 
Missionary  Alliance  and  The  Alliance  Weekly  from  kin- 
dred organizations. 

The  Congo  Mission  wrote  through  its  Executive  Com- 
mittee :  "The  news  of  Dr.  Simpson's  home-going  came 
to  us  as  a  shock.  We  had  been  praying  and  hoping  that 
the  Lord  would  restore  him  to  health  and  grant  him  yet 
many  years  of  service  in  directing  the  world-wide  Alliance 
work  which  was  so  dear  to  his  heart  and  to  which  he 
gave  himself  so  unselfishly  and  untiringly.  May  our 
Heavenly  Father,  the  God  of  all  comfort  sustain  you  in 
your  separation  and  sorrow.  As  a  Mission  and  as  part 
of  the  Alliance  family  we  bear  you  up  in  our  prayers 
and  trust  that  the  Lord  will  continue  to  use  you  in  this 
work,  which  we  know  is  also  dear  to  your  heart." 

Rev.  E.  A.  Kilbourne,  of  the  Oriental  Missionary  So- 
ciety, Japan,  sent  this  message:  "His  influence  was  not 
confined  to  the  ranks  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary 
Alliance,  but  preachers,  missionaries,  editors,  and  people 
of  all  denominations  have  been  moved  and  stirred  by 
his  untiring  zeal  for  the  cause  of  Christ  in  all  the  world. 

284  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

How  glad  I  am  that  I  was  permitted  to  sit  at  his  feet. 
His  inspiring  messages  have  always  stirred  my  soul." 

Several  leaders  in  Jewish  missions  sent  tender  mes- 
sages, among  whom  were  Rev.  Samuel  Wilkinson,  of  the 
Mildmay  Mission  to  the  Jews,  London ;  Rev.  S.  B.  Ro- 
hold,  superintendent  of  the  mission  to  the  Jews,  Toronto, 
Rev.  Thomas  M.  Chalmers,  of  the  Jewish  Mission,  New 
York,  and  Rev.  Maurice  Ruben,  of  the  New  Covenant 
Mission,  Pittsburgh,  who  said:  "It  is  with  the  deepest 
feeling  of  a  personal  loss  that  I  wish  to  express  my  inner- 
most sympathy  to  all  the  Alliance  family  in  the  departure 
of  their  beloved  leader.  Truly  a  prince  in  Israel  has 
fallen.  Dr.  Simpson  was  one  among  thousands,  and  he 
will  leave  a  vacancy  that  will  not  easily  be  filled." 

Rev.  Henry  W.  Frost,  director  of  the  China  Island 
Mission,  wrote  that  "Dr.  Simpson  belonged  to  the  whole 
Church  of  Christ.  His  ministries  overflowed  boundaries 
and  went  out  into  every  place.  It  is  a  true  mark  of  a 
Spirit-filled  man.  I  speak  also  for  the  members  of  the 
China  Island  Mission  in  expressing  for  The  Christian  and 
Missionary  Alliance  our  heartfelt  sympathy  in  their  great 

The  president  of  the  Toronto  Globe,  Mr.  W.  G.  Jaf- 
fray,  sent  this  personal  word:  "The  Christian  and  Mis- 
sionary Alliance  stands  as  a  monument  of  his  devotion 
to  God's  purpose  for  him  in  this  life.  Eternity  alone 
will  show  the  full  results  of  his  earthly  ministry.  Both 
myself  and  my  family  have  experienced  his  loving  sym- 
pathy and  help  in  times  gone  by." 

Other  brief  extracts  show  the  regard  in  which  he  was 
held  by  the  great  men  of  the  Church.  Prof.  W.  H.  Grif- 
fith Thomas,  D.D.,  said :  "In  the  death  of  Dr.  Simpson 
it  is  literally  true  to  say  that  a  great  man  has  fallen  in 


Israel.    For  many  years  I  have  followed  his  work  with 
keen  interest  and  genuine  admiration."     His  old  friend, 
Dr.  James  M.  Gray,  D.D.,  Dean  of  the  Moody  Bible  In- 
stitute, wrote:    "I  knew  Dr.  Simpson  before  The  Chris- 
tian Alliance  was  formed,  and  my  feelings  toward  him 
have  passed  from  wonder  and  admiration  to  the  deepest 
confidence  and  love."     Dr.  George  H.  Sandison  of  The 
Christian  Herald,  who  knew  him  intimately  at  Nyack, 
and  as  a  fellow  editor,  said  that  "His  epitaph  is  written 
in  the  hearts  of  countless  multitudes  at  home  and  abroad. 
I  can  think  of  no  one  in  this  age  who  has  done  more  ef- 
fectual, self-denying  service  for  Christ  and  His  Gospel 
than  Albert  B.  Simpson.     It  will  be  one  of  the  dearest 
memories  of  my  life  that  I  had  the  honor  and  pleasure 
of  calling  him  my  friend."    Dr.  D.  McTavish,  in  whose 
church  in  Toronto  many  of  the  Alliance  conventions  were 
held,  adds  this  word:    "Rev.  A.  B.  Simpson  was  a  man 
definitely  laid  hold  of  by  God  to  do  a  marvelous  work. 
He  was  a  great  Gospel  preacher,  a  great  defender  of 
'the  faith  once  for  all  delivered  unto  the  saints' ;  a  great 
missionary  advocate  and  a  great-hearted  Christian  friend. 
We  shall  sorely  miss  his  genial  presence,  but  what  a  glor- 
ious welcome  awaited  such  a  splendidly  invested  life."  Dr. 
W.  B.  Riley,  of  The  First  Baptist  Church,  Minneapolis, 
sent  this  word  of  mingled  sorrow  and  hope:    "It  was  a 
great  personal  grief  to  me  to  know  of  the  going  of  Dr. 
A.  B,  Simpson.    For  more  than  twenty-five  years  I  have 
known  him  and  my  admiration  increased  with  the  ac- 
quaintance.   Truly,  the  cause  of  Christ  is  the  poorer  for 
his  departure,  but  how  much  richer  for  his  sacrifices  and 
services  of  love.    We  join  with  a  host  of  friends  in  ex- 
pressing congratulations  to  his  dear  wife  and  family  on 
the  great  life  he  lived,  and  our  condolence  on  the  separa- 

286  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

tlon  which,  let  us  trust,  will  be  cut  short  by  the  soon-com- 
ing of  his  Lord." 

Four  simple  and  impressive  services  were  held  in  con- 
nection with  the  Memorial.  The  first  of  these  was  in 
The  Gospel  Tabernacle,  New  York,  on  Sunday  morning, 
November  2nd,  at  which  several  of  the  church  officers  and 
members  of  the  Board  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary 
Alliance  gave  loving  tributes  to  their  beloved  friend.  Dr. 
Marquis  of  the  Bible  Teachers'  Training  School,  who 
was  present,  was  called  to  the  platform  and  gave  a  brief 
but  most  appreciative  impromptu  address  which  is  quoted 
elsewhere.  On  Sunday  afternoon  three  hundred  Institute 
students  lined  the  winding  pathway  leading  up  the  hill- 
side from  the  Simpson  home  to  The  Missionary  Institute, 
while  other  students  carried  the  casket  to  the  Institute 
Chapel.  An  informal  service  was  held  in  the  evening  at 
which  many  testimonies  were  given  as  to  the  influence 
of  the  life  of  Dr.  Simpson,  the  founder  of  the  institutions, 
upon  the  students  and  the  faculty. 

On  Monday  afternoon  a  more  formal  tribute  w^as 
given  by  Rev.  R.  A.  Forrest,  Rev.  A.  E.  Funk,  Rev. 
Henri  DeVries,  Rev.  T.  P.  Gates,  and  Dr.  J.  Gregory 
Mantle.  Dr.  Mantle  told  how  the  vergers  of  St.  Paul's 
Cathedral  show  to  travelers  the  sculptured  monuments 
of  Britain's  greatest  sons.  Finally  the  verger  points  out 
a  little  tablet  on  which  is  inscribed 

"Sir   Christopher   Wren, 
Born  in  1631, 
Died  in  1723; 
If  you  seek  his  monument,  look  around." 

"So,"  said  Dr.  Mantle,  "would  I  say  of  this  man — Tf  you 
seek  his  monument,  look  around'." 


The  principal  service  was  held  in  the  Gospel  Taber- 
nacle, New  York,  on  Tuesday  at  noon.  So  many  desired 
to  attend  that  admittance  was  by  ticket.  The  members 
of  the  Board  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance, 
the  elders  of  the  Gospel  Tabernacle,  the  faculty  of  the 
Missionary  Institute,  many  missionaries  and  home  work- 
ers of  the  Alliance,  and  representative  ministers  of  the 
Gospel  from  various  denominations  filled  the  platform. 
They  included  many  of  the  disciples  who  were  now  to 
carry  forward  the  work  he  had  begun.  Mr.  Ulysses 
Lewis,  of  Atlanta,  Georgia,  presided.  Rev.  F.  H.  Senft 
offered  the  invocation;  Rev.  J.  E.  Jaderquist  read  the 
Scripture;  and  Rev.  E.  D.  Whiteside  led  in  a  tender  in- 
tercessory prayer,  Mrs.  Margaret  Buckman,  daughter 
of  Dr.  Simpson,  sang  one  of  his  unpublished  hymns.  The 
Upward  Calling. 

"A  Voice  is  calling  me,  a  Hand  has  grasped  me, 
By  cords  unseen  my  soul  is  upward  drawn; 
My  heart  has  answered  to  that  upward  calling, 
I  clasp  the  Hand  that  lifts  and  leads  me  on. 

"I'm  turning  from  the  past  that  lies  behind  me, 
I'm  reaching  forth  unto  the  things  before; 
I've  caught  the  taste  of  life's  eternal  fountains, 
And  all  my  being  longs  and  thirsts  for  more. 

"A  brooding  Presence  hovers  o'er  my  spirit, 
The  Heavenly  Dove  my  heart  doth  softly  woo; 
I  catch  bright  visions  of  my  heavenly  calling 
And  all  there  is  for  me  to  be  and  do. 

"A  mystic  glory  lingers  all  around  me, 
And  all  the  air  breathes  out  the  eternal  spring; 
I   feel  the  pulses  of  the  New  Creation, 
And  all  things  whisper  of  the  Coming  King. 

288  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

"And  in  my  heart  I  hear  the  Spirit's  whisper, 
'The  Bridegroom  cometh,  hasten  to  prepare!' 

And  with  my  vessels  filled  and  lamps  all  burning 
I'm  going  out  to  meet  Him  in  the  air." 

Messages  were  read  from  Dr.  Robert  E.  Speer,  Secre- 
tary of  the  Presbyterian  Board  of  Foreign  Missions,  and 
Dr.  Wilbert  W.  White,  of  the  Bible  Teachers'  Training 
School,  who  were  both  out  of  the  city.  Rev.  Edward  H. 
Emett  was  present  and  spoke  as  Dr.  White's  personal 
representative.  Rev.  Kenneth  Mackenzie,  the  first  min- 
ister in  New  York  City  to  stand  with  Mr.  Simpson  on  his 
platform  when  he  began  this  ministry;  Dr.  Edward  B. 
Shaw,  of  Monroe,  New  York,  a  Sunday-school  boy  in 
Mr.  Simpson's  first  pastorate  and  Mr.  Charles  G.  Trum- 
bull, Editor  of  The  Sunday  School  Times,  represented 
the  larger  circle  of  the  Christian  Church  and  spoke  feel- 
ingly of  what  Dr.  Simpson's  life  and  testimony  had 
meant  to  themselves  and  to  the  Church  at  large.  Rev.  P. 
W.  Philpott,  of  Hamilton,  Ont. ;  Rev.  J.  D.  Williams,  of 
St.  Paul,  Minn.;  Rev.  W.  M.  Turnbull,  of  Nyack,  and 
Rev.  A.  E.  Thompson,  of  Jerusalem,  all  members  of  the 
Board,  gave  testimonies  on  behalf  of  the  Alliance  consti- 
tuency at  home  and  abroad.  The  last  message  was  a  most 
touching  tribute  from  Rev.  Paul  Rader,  Vice  President  of 
The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance.  Perhaps  no  minis- 
ter in  the  great  metropohs  had  ever  been  so  truly  hon- 
ored in  his  memorial  service  as  was  this  man  who,  thirty- 
eight  years  before,  had  dared  to  step  out  alone  on  the 
promises  of  God  and,  like  Caleb  of  old,  "Wholly  follow 
the  Lord." 

The  funeral  cortege  proceeded  from  the  Gospel  Taber- 
nacle to  Woodlawn  Cemetery  where  Dr.  Simpson's  body 
was  placed  in  a  vault.    The  family  had  intended  that  his 


last  earthly  resting  place  should  be  in  the  family  plot  in 
Hamilton,  Ont.,  but  graciously  consented  to  the  urgent 
request  that  his  body  should  be  interred  on  the  beautiful 
hillside  at  Nyack,  near  the  Missionary  Institute.  Some 
one  had  suggested  that  each  of  the  sixteen  mission  fields 
send  a  stone,  engraved  in  the  native  language,  to  be  built 
into  a  simple  but  unique  monument. 

On  Friday,  May  21st,  1920,  at  the  closing  of  the  Annual 
Council  of  the  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance,  Dr. 
Simpson's  body  was  brought  back  to  the  hillside.  Hun- 
dreds of  delegates  to  the  Council  and  other  friends  gath- 
ered around  as  the  hands  of  men  who  had  loved  him 
lowered  his  body  into  the  earth  whence  it  came,  and  eyes 
looked  upward  knowing  that  the  spirit  had  departed  to 
be  with  Christ  and  is  waiting  for  the  day  for  which  he  had 
looked  and  longed  when  "the  trumpet  shall  sound  and 
the  dead  shall  be  raised  incorruptible  and  we  shall  be 
changed,"  when  "Death  is  swallowed  up  in  victory."  How 
often  he  had  voiced  in  song  the  hope  that  he  would  be 
caught  up  in  the  clouds  together  with  the  resurrected  ones 
to  meet  the  Lord  in  the  air  and  so  be  "forever  with  the 
Lord."  He  can  have  no  regrets  now  for  he  is  "with 
Christ  which  is  far  better"  than  to  be  here,  even  with 
friends  and  fellow-workers.  Mrs.  Simpson  and  many 
friends  sorrow  not  as  those  who  have  no  hope,  for  "we 
which  are  alive  and  remain  unto  the  coming  of  the  Lord 
shall  not  go  before  them  which  are  asleep"  but  "the  dead 
in  Christ  shall  rise  first,"  As  they  lived  here  together 
with  Christ,  so  then  together  they  shall  share  in  the  power 
of  his  resurrection. 

Few  men  since  the  days  of  Paul  could  so  confidently 
say  "I  have  fought  a  good  fight,  I  have  finished  my 
course,  I  have  kept  the  faith:     Henceforth  there  is  laid 

290  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

up  for  me  a  crown  of  righteousness,  which  the  Lord,  the 
righteous  judge,  shall  give  me  at  that  day:  and  not  to  me 
only,  but  unto  all  them  also  that  love  his  appearing." 



By  Rev.  Paul  Rader 
President  of  The  Christian  and  Missionary  Alliance. 

THERE  have  been  but  few  world  men.  We  read  the 
history  of  great  statesmen  who  were  splendid  defend- 
ers of  their  nation's  rights  and  guiders  of  the  bodies 
politic.  We  read  of  some  of  these  who  were  diplomats, 
for  they  stood  between  their  own  and  antagonistic  nations 
in  the  hour  of  strain  or  war.  We  read  of  others  who  had 
breadth  of  heart  and  smiled  with  favor  on  a  sister  nation 
or  a  people  near  at  hand  who  were  in  subjection.  There 
have  been  men  of  world-travel  fame  who  have  discussed 
for  us,  on  the  printed  page,  the  habits  and  customs  of  far 
away  peoples.  We  have  had  great  writers  on  interna- 
tional questions.  Of  late  we  have  had  those  who  hav<j 
dared  to  think  of  world  peace.  The  Hague,  with  its  Peace 
Monument,  speaks  to  posterity  of  these  larger  visioned 

We  are  today  considering  the  conflict  of  minds  con- 
cerning a  League  of  Nations.  It  seems  that  at  last  lead- 
ers of  public  thought  have  been  forced  by  world  calamity 
to  think  of  a  whole  world.  The  back  alley  local  murders 
and  small  town  scandals  were  forced  from  the  front  pages 
of  our  dailies  for  at  least  four  years,  and  the  news  of  a 
world's  troubles  and  woes  was  given  to  us  for  breakfast 
instead.  To  at  least  twenty-five  per  cent  of  the  world's 
population  the  geography  of  the  globe  has  changed.    They 

292  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

now  know,  to  some  extent,  where  Belgium  is,  and  Hol- 
land, Germany,  Russia,  France,  and  Great  Britain.  They 
were  forced  to  follow  their  boys ;  they  had  to  buy  a  map 
or  use  the  one  in  the  dailies. 

Is  it  not  a  terrifying  conclusion  that,  with  the  masses, 
there  must  be  world  agony  before  there  is  world  thought  ? 
If  world  consideration  is  so  hard  to  obtain,  how  much 
harder,  and  therefore  rarer,  is  world  sympathy.  A  world 
man — that  is,  a  man  with  a  whole  world  on  his  heart,  is 
a  rare  man  and  a  man  close  to  God,  for  God  alone  loves 
the  world.  Enoch  walked  with  God  and  talked  with  God. 
His  talk  was  of  the  whole  world  of  men  and  the  coming 
flood.  Enoch  gave  his  boy  a  name  of  warning,  Methuse- 
lah, meaning,  "When  he  dies  the  flood  will  come."  Abra- 
ham talked  with  God,  left  his  own  and  stepped  out  for 
a  life  that  would  mean  a  new  race  and  a  blessing  through 
them  finally  to  the  whole  race  of  mankind.  Peter  met 
Christ  and  believed  that  He  was  God.  Then  came  that 
dream  of  a  sheet  let  down  from  heaven.  There  God 
gave  him  a  vision,  not  of  one  race — his  race — but  the 
zvhole  human  race  for  whom  Christ  has  died.  Paul  met 
Christ  on  the  road  to  Damascus,  and  went  to  the  whole 
world  to  tell  the  news  of  salvation.  Other  men  who  have 
come  close  to  the  heart  of  Christ  have  caught  a  vision 
of  a  whole  world  and  a  Christ  who  loves  and  has  died  for 
all  men.  Race  prejudice  vanishes  with  a  vision  of  Christ 
for  a  world  of  men. 

My  outstanding  impression  of  Dr.  A.  B.  Simpson  is 
that  he  was  the  foremost  world  man  of  our  generation. 
Many  great  men  of  missionary  vision  have  joined  hands 
with  others  to  spread  the  Gospel  in  the  darkened  lands. 
Here  is  a  man  who,  single-handed,  started  and  carried 
forward  a  movement    to    the    "regions    beyond."      He 


planted  his  workers  in  sixteen  great  mission  fields  of  the 
earth,  and  did  it  in  twenty-five  years. 

With  his  God-given  message  from  pen  and  pulpit  he 
gathered  a  constituency  to  stand  behind  his  recruits. 
Time,  money,  energy,  writing,  preaching,  prayer,  ambition 
— all  was  poured  into  a  funnel  that  poured  out  in  bless- 
ing on  the  whole  world.  Yes,  Dr.  Simpson  talked  with 
God  until  he  became  a  world  man.  He  is  gone  to  be  with 
the  Lord,  but  with  such  master  workmanship  did  he  estab- 
lish his  society,  that  blessing  is  still  flowing  from  it  in  a 
greatly  increasing  stream. 

No  founder  ever  held  an  organization  with  so  light 
a  hand  as  Dr.  Simpson  held  the  Alliance.  Since  the  Lord 
has  called  him  higher,  we  find  that  the  Alliance,  as  always, 
is  not  in  the  hands  of  man,  but  in  the  hands  of  God,  and 
underneath  are  the  everlasting  arms. 

Three  things  the  Alliance  was  raised  up  of  God  to  do. 
Dr.  Simpson  said  in  an  outburst  of  soul,  looking  back  over 
the  years,  'T  can  well  remember  the  nights  I  walked  up 
and  down  the  sandy  beach  of  Old  Orchard,  Maine,  in  the 
summer  of  1881,  and  asked  God  in  some  way  to  raise  up 
a  great  missionary  movement  that  would  reach  the  neg- 
lected fields  of  the  world  and  utilize  the  neglected  forces 
of  the  Church  at  home,  as  was  not  then  being  done.  I 
little  dreamed  that  I  should  have  some  part  in  such  a 
movement,  but  even  then  the  vision  was  given  of  souls  yet 
to  be  born  like  the  stars  of  heaven  and  the  sands  upon  the 
seashore.    The  movement  has  been  wholly  providential." 

Here  then  we  have  this  world  man's  own  words.  So 
it  was,  first,  "neglected  fields,"  second,  "neglected  forces," 
and  God  later  led  him  to  see  the  mighty,  but  largely  un- 
preached  truths  for  which  the  Alliance  now  stands.  There- 
fore, thirdly,  we  have  "neglected  truths." 

294  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

Dr.  Simpson  has  been  promoted,  but  the  movement  he 
founded  is  going  forth  to  a  whole  world  to  preach 
neglected  truths  to  neglected  fields  with  neglected  forces. 
Let  us  look  at  these  three  neglected  things  in  the  reverse 
order  of  the  one  in  which  we  have  named  them.  Very 
decidedly  we  say  that  first  and  foremost  the  neglected 
truths  must  be  seen  or  there  will  be  a  movement  without 
a  message.  The  most  outstanding  weakness  of  our  time 
is  great  movements  without  a  message.  The  Alliance 
still  holds  and  preaches  these  neglected  truths. 

Jesus  As  Saviour. 

We  are  in  the  heart  of  the  apostasy.  Many  are  fall- 
ing away.  The  fundamentals  of  Christianity  are  being 
attacked  by  a  new  and  subtle  method.  The  war  is  on 
against  the  Bible,  the  Blood,  and  the  Blessed  Hope.  It 
is  a  highly  organized  war  with  highly  educated,  highly 
respectable,  and  highly  paid  men  as  officers  over  its  ranks. 
"Salvation  through  social  service"  is  the  battle  cry  in  this 
war  against  the  saints.  There  comes  then  a  fresh  call  to 
raise  our  battle  cry  of,  "Saviour,  Sanctifier,  Healer,  and 
Coming  King,"  above  all  this  Cain  religion. 

In  thousands  of  churches  on  this  continent  where  the 
blood  used  to  be  preached  and  sinners  used  to  be  saved, 
there  is  no  cry  of  new-born  babes  about  their  silent  altars. 
In  thousands  more  no  one  occupies  the  pews,  no  one  the 
pulpit.  Empty,  forsaken,  they  stand  in  mute  appeal  for 
men  with  vital  breath  and  a  soul-saving  Gospel  to  come 
and  open  them  and  pass  the  Bread  of  life  to  the  multitudes 
and  villagers  about  them.  It  is  imperative  that  some  move- 
ment preaching  Jesus  as  Saviour  step  into  this  great 
breach  at  once.  The  neglected  truth  of  Jesus  as  all  suffi- 
cient Saviour  must  go  forth.  I  did  not  say  "be  believed 
and  held,"  I  said,  "go  forth."     Though  our  founder  has 


gone,  we,  as  an  Alliance,  say,  "go  forth,"  not  in  words 
but  in  new  systematic,  powerful  evangelizing  methods. 
This  world  man's  evangelizing  vision  is  still  our  vision. 

When  the  Alliance  was  born,  the  message  of  Finney 
was  still  in  the  air,  Moody  and  Sankey  were  mighty  in 
power.  Dr.  Simpson  caught  his  first  vision  of  the  neg- 
lected crowds  outside  the  churches  through  an  evange- 
listic meeting  in  his  Kentucky  town  conducted  by  Major 
Whittle  and  P.  P.  Bliss.  That  mighty  man  among  us  in 
the  early  days,  Dr.  Wilson,  fell  at  an  old-time  Salvation 
Army  penitent  form,  when  already  an  ordained  clergy- 
man, because  of  the  salvation  fire  of  the  Army  of  those 

The  very  air  was  pregnant  with  Holy  Ghost  conviction 
when  the  Alliance  came  into  being,  and  sinners  by  the 
thousands  found  a  living,  life-giving  Saviour.  What  a 
contrast  to  the  atmosphere  in  which  we,  as  an  Alliance, 
find  ourselves  now  planning  for  the  preaching  of  Jesus 
the  Saviour  around  the  world.  Where  are  the  Holy  Spirit 
filled  evangelists  now?  The  war,  with  one  fell  stroke, 
seems  to  have  wiped  commercial  evangelism  from  the 
earth.  It  has  seemingly,  also,  laid  a  giant  hand  of  frost 
upon  all  evangelism.  The  AlHance  takes  for  itself  from 
God  to  see  to  it  that  every  last  branch  is  a  soul-saving 
station  through  the  week  and  on  Sundays. 

The  old  rescue  mission  is  gone.  The  Alliance  founded 
by  this  world  man  will  still  open  missions  to  the  masses. 
The  incorporation  certificate  of  the  first  Alliance  society 
stated  that  the  object  of  the  society  was  "to  do  the  work 
of  evangelism,  especially  among  the  neglected  classes  by 
highway  missions  and  other  practical  methods." 

We  surely  believe  in  defending  the  fundamentals,  but, 
as  an  Alliance,  we  will  defend  them  by  taking  them  with 

296  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

renewed  consecration  and  fiery  fervor  to  the  masses,  any 
way,  every  way — but  take  them  and  preach  them.  These 
great  fundamentals  of  the  faith  will  defend  themselves 
in  living  witness  of  their  life-giving  power  when 

Yes,  Jesus  as  Saviour  is  a  greatly  neglected  truth  in 
our  day.  God  will  give  us  grace  and  practical  sense  in 
planning  a  larger  way  of  coming  to  the  rescue  as  flam- 
ing evangels  in  this  sad  hour. 

Jesus  As  Sanctifier 

When  the  Alliance  was  born,  the  holiness  movement 
that  had  its  start  with  Finney  and  others  was  at  high 
tide.  Camp  meeting  grounds  dotted  the  groves  near 
great  city  centers  as  well  as  at  the  seashores  and  the  lake 
fronts.  Methodism  led  the  way  under  the  mighty  gen- 
eralship and  inspiration  of  such  Spirit-filled  men  as 
Bishop  Joyce  and  Mallalieu  and  Dr.  S.  A.  Keen  of  Ohio. 
Much  controversy  concerning  holiness  and  its  place  in 
Bible  doctrine  was  stirring  evangelical  forces  everywhere. 

Into  this  ripe  hour  God  led  Dr.  Simpson,  bringing  the 
great  heart  and  power  and  cleansing  message  of  the  Al- 
liance. Hearts  that  had  hungered  for  the  deeper  life, 
found  in  the  Alliance  message  on  the  crisis  of  the  Deeper 
Life  a  splendid  Bible  ground  for  their  feet,  and  thousands 
found  Jesus  as  their  Sanctifier  and  were  filled  with  the 
Holy  Spirit,  counting  not  their  lives  dear  unto  themselves, 
but  finding  Jesus  all  and  in  all.  The  heart  of  this  mes- 
sage of  the  Alliance  is  in  the  hymn  which  I  consider  the 
greatest  hymn  that  Dr.  Simpson  ever  wrote : 

"Once    it    was    the    blessing. 
Now  it  is  the  Lord. 
Once  it  was  the   feeling. 
Now  it  is  His  word." 


Especially  in  the  lines — 

"Once  it  was  my  working, 
His  it  hence  shall  be. 
Once  I  tried  to  use  Him, 
Now  He  uses  me." 

We  find  ourselves  today  in  no  such  atmosphere  as  that 
m  which  the  Alliance  was  born.  We  feel  the  tramp  and 
the  tread  of  the  great  army  toward  the  winding  up  of 
man's  day.  Above  this  army  waves  the  world-movement 
banners.  The  social  service  slogans  fill  the  air.  The 
printed  pages  of  rationalism  are  scattered  all  about.  The 
circulars  concerning  the  isms  of  the  day  are  handed  to  us 
on  car  and  street.  The  world  attractions  blaze  on  the  city 
highways.  The  movies  have  lengthened  their  reels  to 
accommodate  church  and  theatre  alike.  The  Church's 
standards  and  social  standards  are  dropping,  dropping. 
We  can  only  gasp  as  the  news  comes  of  newer  and  wider 
departures  from  the  old  fundamentals  of  the  faith. 

Is  there  lack  of  money,  of  organization,  of  attraction, 
of  eloquence,  of  education,  of  culture,  of  popularity?  No, 
NO.  It  all  comes  from  no  lack  whatever  of  power  with- 
out, but  the  lack  of  the  living  Christ  within. 

Truly,  the  atmosphere  of  this  day  is  far  dififerent  from 
the  atmosphere  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago;  but,  atmo- 
sphere or  no  atmosphere,  the  Alliance  has  still  a  message 
in  Jesus  as  our  sanctification  for  the  crisis  of  the  deeper 
life  which  leads  to  the  fullness  of  the  Holy  Ghost  and 
fire.  This  fullness  and  fire  are  the  greatest  needs  of  the 
saints  of  all  time,  and  surely  today.  There  was  darkness 
in  Egypt  that  could  be  felt,  but  we  read  further  in  God's 
Word  that  Israel,  at  the  same  time,  "had  light  in  their 
dwellings."     It  was  supernatural  light.    It  was  a  type  of 

298  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

tlie  full  light  of  the  Holy  Spirit  for  these  last  dark  days. 
There  is  teaching  today,  thank  God,  concerning  the 
Holy  Spirit,  and  the  setting  forth  of  the  doctrines  of  the 
Holy  Spirit.  The  need  of  the  hour  is  for  this  movement, 
with  these  neglected  doctrines  very  clear,  but  with  a 
method  just  as  clear.  Our  doctrine  must  be  clear ;  so  must 
be  a  time  table,  but  the  time  table  and  the  train  are  not 
the  same  thing.  The  doctrine  of  the  fullness  of  the  Holy 
Spirit,  even  when  believed  in,  is  not  the  fullness  of  the 
Holy  Spirit.  There  are  those  who  preach  these  doctrines 
without  seeing  any  one  filled  with  the  Holy  Spirit,  be- 
cause they  never  even  clear  the  decks  for  action  with  an 
altar  service.  They  never  even  use  the  crisis  moment  at 
the  close  of  their  teaching  for  a  crisis  decision  right  where 
the  hungry  hearts  are  seated.  God  is  moving  freshly 
upon  us  in  power,  with  Holy  Ghost  directed  altar  work, 
for  clear  cut  decisions  and  definite  Spirit-filling.  There 
is  great  need  for  a  revival  in  the  Body  of  Christ.  This 
revival  will  start  and  run  through  the  Alliance  ranks 
like  fire,  for  we  are  going  back  to  our  old  altar  services, 
using  the  Word  of  God  and  keeping  man's  hands  off 
the  wrestling  heart. 

Jesus  As  Healer. 

Thank  God,  the  home-going  of  our  founder  finds  us 
true  as  a  Society  to  the  doctrine  and  practice  of  Jesus  as 
our  Healer.  The  hem  of  His  garment  is  still  being 
touched  by  the  hand  of  faith.  True,  the  crowd  around 
are  hurling  their  anathemas,  but  He  still  heals.  It  is  the 
great  answer  to  Christian  Science.  God  has  brought  many 
workers  to  the  Alliance  through  miraculously  healing 
them,  and  made  the  work  a  miraculous  blessing  in  thou- 
sands of  homes. 


His  Return. 

As  the  Wise  Men  followed  the  star,  so  the  Alliance 
company  of  faith  folk  follow  lovingly  the  Blessed  Hope. 
It  is  the  pillar  of  fire  by  night  and  the  cloud  by  day.  We 
never  can  stop  in  the  forward  march  started  by  the  mighty 
man  of  God  to  the  regions  beyond  until  we  see  Him  face 
to  face,  since  the  vision  of  an  open  heaven  and  a  descend- 
ing Lord  has  reached  our  ranks. 

The  Alliance  is  going  to  the  ends  of  the  earth,  to  the 
last  tribe  and  tongue  because  of  the  Great  Commission 
and  because  His  coming  back  depends  upon  the  going  out 
with  the  message  to  evangelize  the  world.  This  move- 
ment is  following  the  God-given  program  in  gathering 
out  a  people  for  His  name.  Then  He  will  return.  The 
Alliance  heartily  says,  "Even  so,  come.  Lord  Jesus,"  but  it 
does  not  say  it  idly  at  home.  It  is  saying  it  from  every 
quarter  of  the  globe  after  these  more  than  thirty  years  of 
missionary  effort. 

The  incense  from  the  silent  graves  of  more  than  seven 
score  of  missionaries,  the  clarion  call  of  their  laid-down 
lives  comes  up  to  God  in  mighty  tones  and  sweet  savor, 
pleading  His  return.  This  call  is  not  in  sentiment  but  in 
sacrifice  and  service.  A  few  more  Hves,  a  few  more 
members  of  His  Body  gathered  out  from  the  lost,  and 
He  will  come. 

With  a  new  Spirit-planned  and  anointed  forward  move- 
ment the  Alliance  is  going  to  the  regions  beyond  to  bring 
back  the  King.  He  is  still  beckoning  from  Macedonia. 
Thank  God  that  bringing  back  the  King  is  not  only  the 
Blessed  Hope  of  the  Alliance,  but  the  great  business  to 
which  it  has  consecrated  its  all. 

The  world  man  who  founded  this  Society  has  taken  off 

300  LIFE  OF  A.  B.  SIMPSON 

his  armor,  but  nothing  better  could  be  said  of  the  fight 
he  fought  than  that  the  ranks  he  commanded  are  still 
in  the  fight,  with  the  same  message,  the  same  vision,  the 
same  fire  and  with  increasing  victory. 




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